Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, says the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport has been reopened for operations hours after an aircraft belonging to Max Air crash-landed on Sunday afternoon.
The minister disclosed this in a tweet posted on his official Twitter handle late Sunday evening.
“The Max Air aircraft has been towed away, the runway has been swept, inspected & certified. The airport is now reopened for operations. Well done management & staff of Abuja. Thanks to all our customers for their patience & understanding. We regret the inconvenience…” he wrote.
There was panic at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday after an aircraft belonging to Max Air which took off from Yola crash-landed along the runway of the airport.
The incident occurred around 3:00 p.m. and no fatality was recorded.
However, the development grounded many flights coming in and out of Abuja for several hours.
According to Max Air, the affected aircraft had 143 passengers and an infant onboard.
“…the aircraft experienced two tire bursts on landing in Abuja, and the emergency response team quickly responded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,” a statement by the airline noted.
It said: “We are pleased to report that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft are safe and sound.”
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the Vice President of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, over the issue on Sunday, the body said that tyre burst can happen to any airline in the world.
Mr Onyema urged the media not to sensationalise its reporting whenever such incidents occur.
“…Tyre bursts occur now and then in the industry and have nothing to do with the airline’s safety standards,” the statement said.
According to the statement, sensationalistic reporting of such incidents will only create fears in the minds of the flying public, a development he described as “counter-productive”.
“AON states that Max Air is one of the safest airlines in the world and should not be ridiculed because of this incident,” the statement said.
“All Nigerian airlines are under very strict oversight by the 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.”