Aviation workers kick as FG suspends Dana Air operations

In response to a runway excursion incident involving Dana Air at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Tuesday, the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development has decided to suspend the airline until comprehensive audits on its fleet are conducted.

A statement signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, on Wednesday, said recent incidents involving Dana Air have raised concerns about the safety and financial viability of the airline’s operations

Aviation workers kick as FG suspends Dana Air operations
Dana Air

Meribole emphasized the importance of conducting a comprehensive audit of Dana Air.

According to him, this audit will cover safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health.

The decision to suspend the airline is solely focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of Nigerians.

The statement reads: “As the supervisor overseeing our nation’s aviation safety and regulatory compliance, it has come to the Honourable Minister’s attention that recent incidents involving Dana Airline have raised serious concerns regarding both the safety and financial viability of their operations.

“In light of these incidents and with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travelers, the Honourable Minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline’s fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted. This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations.

“The recent incidents have underscored the urgency of this matter, and it is imperative that swift and decisive action be taken to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders involved. I trust in your expertise and diligence in carrying out this audit thoroughly and expeditiously. Please keep me informed of the progress and any significant findings throughout this process.” No 

Commenting on the development,  an Aviation Security Expert, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd) who spoke with Vanguard condemned the suspension, stating that it is not the job of minister of aviation to suspend airlines.

He said, “That is not the job of a minister. What it means is that there is no confidence in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB. He has taken over the job of the agencies these are the things that are wrong, and the world is looking at us.

”He doesn’t have the authority. How can he suspend? Is the report out? Has he read the report? The International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, is watching and International Air Transport Association, IATA, is watching.”

A member of the Aviation Roundtable, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, on his part, said: “This is gross interference. This is a man who, from the day he came in, promised not to interfere with safety, and this is a safety related issue. This is not right. It is the same mistake he made with the airport marketing. That should come from the NCAA, not him. It is playing to the gallery.”