A picture went viral few days ago showing passengers alighting from a Boeing 737 aircraft, at the Bauchi airport with a ladder, the airline involved in the embarrassing show, Aero has been fined.
According to Punch Newspaper, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) fined Aero Contractors for the incident. This was revealed to newsmen by the agency’s General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboy. although the amount of the fine was not revealed.
Punch also reports that a letter written by NCAA’S Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman accused the airline of violating Part 18.104.22.168(b) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), which attracts a civil penalty.
An excerpt of the letter reads: “All relevant agencies made useful submissions during the course of the investigation. In view of the safety implications of your action, you are hereby sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Part 20.2.3(15) of the Nig.CARs.”
This is coming after the the Minister of State for Aviation,Senator Hadi Sirika promised to institute a probe into the matter to ascertain why it happened.
The airline in the centre of the matter had issued a statement immediately after the incident saying:
“A special charter flight, operated by Aero to Bauchi, had problems with unserviceable equipment by the airport management in disembarking about 34 passengers from Abuja. Consequently, against the airline’s wish and operational safety guideline, the passengers used a ladder to disembark.
“However, at the time of boarding, the air stairs were functional and the passengers boarded successfully. Aero wishes to state that it took adequate and safety measures for this operation, including the airport’s ground staff, to handle the air stairs equipment in Bauchi. Unfortunately, it became unserviceable at the point of disembarking.”
You will also recall that the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) denied any involvement in the incident.