The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Hamisu Yadudu has said that the aborted flight incident involving Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday morning at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos was a normal safety procedure expected from pilots.
Yadudu said that pilots were trained to do a ‘go-around’ in case of poor visibility that may not be conducive for safe landing.
Yadudu, stated this on Thursday in an interview with journalists at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
He explained that the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777-300 aircraft had an aborted landing at the airport because of the weather situation at that point in time, stressing that pilots were trained for such emergencies and more.
He insisted that the situation was a normal safety procedure, which was followed by the pilot and commended him for the professional decision.
He explained that such a sensational report in the media may compel pilots to take a wrong decision in the future.
He said: “A go-around is a normal procedure, not an abnormal situation. Even, abnormal situations are even catred for by the aircraft manufacturers and even the system. In all procedures, you have redundancy, which is also known as alternatives.
“I remember I did a go-around twice in one of our airports. As long as you have enough fuel in your aircraft, you can do a go-around. It is also part of the training we go through. In the cause of your training, you can do a go-around about five or seven times in a flight. Flying is a serious business. We have a duty to report accurately about the industry. Whatever is reported here, goes viral. So, everyone has the duty to report accurately and objectively about the industry.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airline has also confirmed that the flight ET 901, which departed from Addis Ababa on its way to Lagos encountered bad weather during landing and made a go-around the airport for a better and smooth landing.
Firihiewot Mekonnen, General Mnagger, Ethiopian Airlines, Nigeria insisted that the decision of the pilot to abort the flight when he did was in tandem with standard procedure.
The airline said: “On a second attempt, it made a safe and normal landing. According to the safety standard, pilots are encouraged to make a similar go-around in such cases.”
It would be recalled that a report had said on Wednesday that former President Obasanjo and 392 other passengers onboard Ethiopian Airlines aircraft were involved in an incident at the Lagos Airport when the pilot attempted to land on the wet runway but had to do a “touch and go” in order to avoid overshooting the runway.
The report also mentioned Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, Director-General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Prof. Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of other Nigerians and other nationals.
The aircraft had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10 a.m (Nigerian time) for the over four hours flight to Lagos, but had to immediately takeoff in order to overshoot the runway because of the wet surface.