Meggison’s disused aircraft, others evacuated from Lagos Airport

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has begun the removal of old abandoned aircraft littering the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos to the graveyard.

Speaking in an interview in Lagos, FAAN’s general manager, corporate affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said no fewer than 13 aircraft belonging to different airlines had been abandoned at the airside of the airport for several years adding that their owners had been reluctant to relocate them despite several warnings by the agency.

Aircraft marked for evacuation include the one belonging to Jed Air and operated by the chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, and the others belonging to the defunct Air Nigeria, Associated Cargo, Bellview, Precision Aviation Handling Company, and Top Brass

So far, Yakubu said aircraft belonging to Associated Air, IRS, Dana Air and Hak Air had already been evacuated.

“We have taken the legal issues into consideration. If you agree with me, these aircraft are not helping us in anyway. They are taking up a lot of space. Space for aircraft landing and taking off are being taken by these aircraft.

“The airports belong to FAAN, which means that it is the property of the federal government and there is no airline that is bigger than Nigeria. Nigeria has given them a long time to be able to move their aircraft and they have refused to do this.

“FAAN is not taking possession of their aircraft, but we are moving them away from where they are to another place within the airport where they will not serve as eyesore and where they will not constitute nuisance to activities on our airside.

“What we are doing is part of the services FAAN is providing comfort and security. So, for security, these aircraft have been abandoned at the airport for long and miscreants can just go in there and do whatever they want. We want our airports to look beautiful and fine, the aircraft that are littered around, it defaces the beauty of our airside.

“FAAN has severally told the owners of these aircraft to relocate them away from where they are presently abandoned without any fruitful response from them; where they are presently, constitute danger to safety and smooth operations of aircraft,” she said.

She further stressed that relocation became necessary in order to give more space for airworthy aircraft to land, take off and manoeuvre as expected during operations at the airside.

Meanwhile, she said FAAN had made plans to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations within the airside to forestall aircraft poaching and other incidents.

“What we had in the past was that the ‘Follow Me’ vehicle used to be in the front of aircraft, but we have decided to reverse the order. The vehicles are now at the back of the aircraft to ensure that the aircraft go to parking bay without any incident or aircraft poaching,” she added.

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