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FAAN to destroy 65 abandoned aircraft

January 18, 2013 by Oyetunji Abioye 5 Comments

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will next week commence the destruction of no fewer than 65 airplanes abandoned by domestic airlines in eight airports across the country.

The Director of Airport Operations, FAAN, Mr. Henry Omeogu, who is also the Chairman of the agency’s Abandoned Aircraft Committee, told reporters on Thursday that it would commence the evacuation of the airplanes across the country in the next one week.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr .Yakubu Dati, said the abandoned airplanes “will be torn in pieces after which some interested recycling firms will carry them away to recycle them to other things.”

Some of the abandoned aircraft belong to Bellview Airlines, Space World, Capital Airlines, IRS Airlines, EAS Airlines, Dasab Airlines and Fresh Airlines.

The aircraft models range from Fokker 28, Embraer 100 to Boeing 727 and 737.

The aircraft are currently abandoned in Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Owerri, Kano and Kaduna airports, among others.

FAAN said there was no going back on the planned evacuation of the abandoned airplanes from the various airports, stressing that they constituted safety and security hazards to the travelling public.

Conducting journalists round the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, where no fewer than 13 of the 65 abandoned aircraft are scattered, Omeogu said the contractor engaged to evacuate them would move to site next week to commence the exercise.

The director insisted that FAAN would not provide any “aircraft graveyard” to any of the operators as being demanded by some of them.

He, however, explained that some of the operators, like Space World, Capital Airlines and others had already given the agency the go-ahead to evacuate their airplanes.

According to Omeogu, some of the abandoned airplanes have been littering the airport environment for almost 10 years.

He said, “None of them is serviceable because most of their owners have closed shop; unfortunately, such owners don’t want to evacuate them for reasons best known to them. Today, we are ready to remove them from here.

“The contractors are ready to move in and there is no going back. Anyone that wants to take anything away from them now can do so between now and the next one week.”

The Terminal Manager, General Aviation Terminal, MMA, Lagos, Mr. Olutayo Oginnie, said some of the abandoned airplanes were seized for conveying contraband goods.

For instance, he said a Boeing 737-200 plane belonging to a certain company was impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service for bringing in contraband goods into the country about eight years ago.

The Director, Legal Services, FAAN, Mr. Mark Jacob, who is also a member of the evacuation committee, said the abandoned aircraft were dangerous to the airport environment.

Jacob said none of the airlines had any order stopping the agency from evacuating the planes, adding that FAAN was only interested in removing them from the airport.

-Punch

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