Bauchi Airport ‘Ladder Saga’ Earns Aero Contractors Airline Sanction
Days after a Nigerian airliner, Aero Contractors Airlines, disembarked passengers from a plane with a ladder in Bauchi State, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) imposed an “applicable sanction” on the airliner in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs).
According to the NCAA, the sanction runs into millions of Naira.
A spokesman for the NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, gave a hint about the sanction in a statement on Wednesday.
Contrary To Handling Manual
The Director General of the Regulatory Authority, Captain Muhtar Usman, said in a letter that the use of a ladder by Aero Contractors Airline to disembark passengers from Boeing 737-500 aircraft in a non-emergency situation was contrary to its approved aircraft handling manual.
A letter by Captain Usman read: “Therefore this is a violation of Part 126.96.36.199(b) of NCARs which in part attracts a civil penalty. 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 NCARs.
“Although the incident did not result in any mishap, the aircraft is airworthy and the Crew well qualified to operate the flight. However, it is viewed as a breach and resultantly a fine running into millions of Naira have been clamped on the airline to serve as deterrence and to forestall any similar infraction by any other airline operator”.
Captain Usman further stated that the Captain of the flight was similarly fined for failing to comply with the provisions contained in the aircraft manual.
The NCAA also urged all airlines to adhere strictly to Civil Aviation Regulations.
After the incident, the airliner released a statement, saying that the use of the ladder was against the airline’s wish and operation safety guidelines.
It claimed that although the airline crew tried to calm down the passengers to wait while the equipment was being fixed, the passengers insisted on their own volition to disembark against all safety protocol of the airline, using the ladder.