Few weeks after SaharaReporters exclusively revealed robbery incidents involving two private aircraft on runways of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has commenced the massive clearing of the thick airside bushes.
FAAN has also deployed a combined team of security personnel to patrol the airside area periodically in order to prevent repeat of the disgraceful acts, which occurred last December.
A source at FAAN told SaharaReporters today that the Managing Director of the agency, Engr. Saleh Dunoma gave the order for the clearing of the bush, which would make the area visible during the day and night operations for departing and arriving flights into the Lagos airport.
SaharaReporters was at the airside of the airport today, to confirm the developments.
SR observed that the clearing of the bush commenced from the Shasha area of the airport to the Skyway Aviation Handling Company of Nigeria Limited (SAHCOL) warehouse within the airport.
The clearing it was gathered commenced last week.
The source said: “FAAN brought their tractors to clear the bush within the airside of the airport. They worked throughout last week and from a distance now, you can view several kilometres of the airport. I think this is good and we hope they can periodically do this for the good of all.”
Also, a source close to the FAAN told our correspondent that combined security team has been deployed to the airside and are now active for at least 12 hours when the airport is actively operational.
The security team it was gathered patrol the entire airport perimeter every hour especially whenever an aircraft lands or prepares to takeoff.
This is apart from the security escort vehicle manned by FAAN security officials, which follows an aircraft whenever it lands or takeoff.
It would be recalled that two poaching incidents were reported last December at the Lagos Airport.
The first was the poaching of a Vistajet aircraft with the registration number 9H-VFA on the 18Right runway of the airport on December 12, 2017 when the jet was taxiing to the apron operated by Quilts Aviationa
A big black bag belonging to the air hostess, Francesca Louis was burgled from the jet due to the incident.
Exactly two weeks later, December 26 to be precise, luggage of Tiwa Savage and Wizkid, both Nigerian hiphop musicians were burgled with at the Lagos Airport. The aircraft had departed Uyo for Lagos on the said day arriving in the night after they both concluded a musicial show in Uyo. The Bombardier Challenger 605 jet with registration number T7-A00 arrived Lagos from Uyo about 8:33 pm was slowly taxiing when their bags were stolen from the luggage compartment of the aircraft. The pilot informed the passengers of the strange occurrence.
After exposing these major security flaws, FAAN has vigorously tried to cover up the incident, describing it as “baseless and practically impossible.”
A statement by Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN had insisted that no aircraft was poached at the airport while a check-in luggage of any passenger or aircraft crew was missing.
Yakubu insisted that it was not possible for anyone to burgle an aircraft in motion, stressing that aircraft are highly technical machines, which made it impossible for anyone who did not have the requisite training and competence to operate or tamper with the baggage compartment.
The Nigeria Police Airport Command too in its attempt to cover up the incidents, declared that nothing of such happened within the airport even though, SaharaReporters stood by its earlier story published.
However, SaharaReporters had since validated the story with the airlines operators affected and they insisted that the burglary occured and all the pilots involved made official security reports to FAAN.