Following the crash-landing of an Aero Airline’s aircraft at the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos, at the weekend, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday commenced investigations into the cause of the accident.
The crash-landing caused a major damage on the aircraft, which had 92 persons, includinfg passengers and crew members, on board.
It was gathered that the NCAA probe is to stave off any incident that could prevent the government from achieving the Category One status, which is to raise the bar in aviation regulation in Nigeria.
The investigation by the regulator comes as airlines on the Jos Airport route are lamenting the loss of revenue following the closure of the airport by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
FAAN at the weekend closed the airport because the Aero Airline’s aircraft blocked the runway after the pilot made a forced landing.
Apart from the airlines that have lost millions of naira, aviation agencies, including FAAN and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) are losing revenue accruing from navigational and operational charges for the days the airport will be shut.
Meanwhile, FAAN yesterday said it had no plans to shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport.
In a statement by FAAN spokeman Akin Olukunle the agency said: "The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun, has allayed fears over possible power disruption to the Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa.
"Mr. Aisuebeogun said in Lagos that his management has put in place measures to resolve the differences between the authority and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc over power supply to the airport."
This, Olukunle said, may involve the reconciliation of accounts between the two organisations at the regional level.
He assured that the authority, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Aviation, would strive to ensure that all ongoing projects designed to transform the Port Harcourt airport are completed before the end of the year.
He said two fire trucks were recently "sent to the airport to enhance the capacity of fire cover at the airport."
Aisuebeogun said the airport is among the five earmarked by the Federal Government for remodelling before the end of 2011.
This, he explained, is to enhance service delivery.
The others include the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos; Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu; Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Although FAAN said it strives to offset its bills regularly, including those on electricity, Aisuebeogun lamented that some government agencies and airlines owe it on services rendered to them.
These include the recovery of electricity charges, among others.
He said: "While the airlines continue to give excuses over their failure to pay their debts, they are vocal in their criticisms of FAAN on the poor state of the airports.
"In the best interest of the operators, FAAN has spent over N380 million on measures aimed at combating bird strike, a menace to safety and security of air travel worldwide. The airlines and other concessionaires, from our records, owe the authority over N18billion..."