Despite Calibration Of Lagos Airport, Virgin Atlantic Diverts Flight To Accra


In spite of the publicised calibration of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Instrument Landing System about two weeks ago by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, foreign airlines still divert flights out of the airport to neighbouring African countries.

The latest of such diversions was Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow London, which could not land at the airport on Friday morning due to inclement weather conditions. The pilot had to divert the flight to Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.

A source close to the airport updated newsmen that the aircraft hovered in the air for over an hour, yet the pilot could not land the aircraft at the airport.

There were no fewer than 250 passengers onboard the plane as at the time of the diversion.

It was however, gathered that the pilot had returned to Lagos after the improvement in the weather conditions at the airport.

It would be recalled that NAMA had in the last quarter of year 2018 claimed that it had installed the Category III (3) equipment at the Lagos airport, which would enable aircrafts land even in inclement weather conditions.

After the installation, the agency earlier in the month also said it had calibrated the equipment about two weeks ago after series of flight diversions to Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana by foreign airlines.

NAMA had said that it used the $8.5m calibration aircraft, King Air 350, acquired to conduct the exercise after the initial calibration aircraft it hoped to lease from ASECNA failed to carry out the job.

Calibration is a process that ensures the safety of air navigation by conducting regular flight inspection, calibration of test equipment, surveillance of airspace systems and certification of navigation aids in accordance with the stipulated procedures as recommended in the International Civil Aviation Organisation document 8071, annexes 10 and 14, as well as Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority regulations.

During the time of this report, NAMA was yet to respond to enquiries made by our correspondent.


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