Following last year’s, security breach at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, involving Turkish airline which led to the suspension of some top officials at the airport, Federal Government has stated its resolve to get to the root of the matter to unearth the main issues.
Minister of State Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who spoke exclusively to Nigerian Flight Deck via the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, James Odaudu said that it is not going to be business as usual as the country takes the breach seriously and would want to know what would drive passengers to carry out the act.
The Minister of State for Aviation, December 27, 2015 suspended the Airport Manager, Terminal Manager and Head of Airport Security at the NAIAA over a security breach involving agitated passengers of Turkish Airlines who forced their way into the tarmac and barricaded the aircraft.
During an on the spot assessment of the situation, the Minister discovered some lapses and immediately ordered an investigation into the matter.
Odaudu who spoke to our correspondent over the phone explained that investigations are still on and that the Consumer Protection Unit of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is doing its job.
The ministerial spokesperson also said that the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has also taken up the case and is doing its own investigation stating that once that is out, the Ministry can take it up from there and do what is right.
“The Consumer Protection Unit if the NCAA is carrying out a thorough investigation of the issue and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is also on the issue so while the NCAA is working so is the CPC. We are still waiting for the final outcomes of the investigation and I can assure you that it’s not going to be business as usual,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has issued an ultimatum to Turkish Airlines to provide a full situation report of events surrounding what it described as the ill-treatment of its passengers arriving into Abuja from December 20, 2015.
The Council in a letter to the airline dated December 29, 2015, signed by its director general, Mrs Dupe Atoki, said “Turkish Airlines flight TK 623 from Istanbul arrived Abuja on Sunday 20th December 2015 without the baggage of the passengers of that flight.
“Passengers of subsequent flights on the same route, up to 26th December 2015, were also affected as their baggage failed to arrive on their respective flights,” it added.
The Council continued, “The baggage of the passengers of 20th December flight started arriving piecemeal only on 25th December, indicating that the Airline boarded passengers knowing full well that their baggage would not be transported with them.”
CPC noted that the “passengers, some of who travelled with minors, were put to great inconvenience and hardship as they were unduly deprived of their belongings and other items necessary to accomplish the purpose of their trips and all such passengers, including those whose destinations were outside Abuja, were forced to repeatedly check at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on the fate of their baggage, thereby incurring extra and unbudgeted expenditure, including hotel accommodation.”