Senate summons aviation minister over air mishaps

The Senate has summoned aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, over reoccurring cases of air mishaps across the country.

The Senate's decision was sequel to a motion moved by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, the chairman, Senate Committee on Transportation and eight others.

The Senate noted the February 20, 2018, a Dana Airline aircraft that allegedly overshot the runway upon landing at the Port Harcourt Airport and the Wednesday February 7th, 2018 incident, whereby the emergency door of an aircraft conveying passengers to Abuja fell off upon landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, reacting to the airline door falling off, had promised that the Senate would look into the issue saying: “The safety of passengers and conditions of aircrafts must be the primary concern of all airlines that are operating in Nigeria.

“An airline door falling off is unacceptable. We will take this up at the Senate. It must not happen again,”Saraki had said

Speaking at plenary on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Senator Stella Oduah, a former Minister of Aviation, stated that Nigeria’s aviation industry is the most regulated ministry in Nigeria, however, the responsibility for the safety of the passengers and the aircraft lies mostly with the pilot.

“This is a serious issue and not a laughing matter,” said Senator James Manager. “I fully support the suggestion that the Minister of State should be invited,” Manager added.

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa noted spoke on the importance of proper investigation adding that punishment should be meted out to concerned airlines.

Speaking after the adoption of the motion, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu recounted his experience onboard an aircraft.

“I had a similar experience last month where the pilot missed the runway twice — it is also imperative that we sort this out once and for all,” Ekweremadu said.

“This Motion clearly shows that we should do something immediately about the aviation sector. We need to ensure that those who will fly in Nigeria can fly safely," he added.

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