The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) has said reportage concerning the tyre burst incident of Max Air flight NGL1649, yesterday May 7, 2023 erroneously reported as a crash landing was inaccurate.
This is just as the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has decried the sensational reporting of the incident saying such exaggerated report creates unnecessary fears in the minds of the flying public.
Max Air Boeing 737 aircraft according to a statement signed by the DG-CA, with registration 5N-MBD departed Yola for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with 144 passengers and 6 flight crew on board during landing at Abuja airport the aircraft lost some tires, the flight crew brought the aircraft to a safe stop on Runway 22 at 2.57pm local time.
According to the statement, Abuja airport was shut down due to the disabled aircraft on the runway, as Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport is a single runway airport and a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) accordingly.
“All relevant agencies including NCAA, FAAN, NAMA and NSIB swung into action collaboratively to ensure the prompt removal of the disabled aircraft from the runway and reopening of the airport for flight operations.
The statement confirmed that several domestic and international flights were stranded at Abuja airport while incoming flights were diverted to other airports.
Eventually, the damaged wheels of the aircraft were replaced and the aircraft taxied on its power from the runway to an assigned parking position.
‘The runway was inspected and swept for damage and debris by officials of NCAA, FAAN and NAMA, after which the runway was declared safe. Subsequently, the airport was reopened for resumption of flight operations after 8pm.
The CAA said, “It has come to the notice of the NCAA of sensational media reports of the incident, classifying it as a crash landing thus creating panic and concerns amongst the travelling public.
“The media are urged to seek clarifications and or information as to make accurate reports of any situation.
In an earlier statement by the AON, the airline body said such exaggerated report creates unnecessary fears in the minds of the flying public.
The statement released by AON and signed by its Vice President and Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, the Association said that such incident can happen to any airline.
“Today, an aircraft belonging to Max Air which took off from Yola Airport had a tyre burst on landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. No passenger or crew was hurt in the incident as all passengers and crew were safely evacuated.
“While we thank God Almighty for His protection of all on board that aircraft, we, in AON, decry the penchant for sensational reporting anytime such incident occurs. Tyre bursts occur now and then in the industry and has nothing to do with the airline’s safety standards. Such reports only tend to create unnecessary fears in the minds of the unsuspecting flying public and, as such, counter productive,” the statement said.
The body also said that Max Air is safe with a good safety record and therefore should not be ridiculed because of this incident.
“AON states that Max Air is one of the safest airlines in the world and should not be ridiculed because of this incident. Tyre burst can happen to any airline in the world. We plead with the flying public to be mindful of the consequences of sensationalising such occurrences in aviation, as it may be used by outsiders to affect the county’s rating.
“All Nigerian airlines are under very strict oversight by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), hence no room for unsafe practices by any Nigerian airline. This tyre burst incident does not and, will never, detract from Max Air’s well-known safety standards,” the statement also said.