I feel the attack done on taxiing airplanes were done by people familiar with the operational system of the airports and warned against indiscriminate issuance of On Duty Card (ODC) by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). I am aware that unknowingly you can give your ODC to criminals to have access to the airport. If this allegation is true, then I appeal to the federal government not to take it lightly because this is a serious security breach. Today, we learnt they are removing bags but tomorrow we don’t know what they will be putting into the aircraft. If this is not checked, it will destroy everything the federal government is fighting against.
The frequent attacks on our airport runway is an alarming one. How did robbers enter the runway? How do they bypass security at the airport? What entrance did they take? The minister of Aviation needs to look into this; I feel our airports all around the country, not only in Lagos should be manned with tight security. If this keeps happening, foreigners will stop coming into our country to invest and this will affect us badly.
In my opinion, the robbers could be any of the personnel stationed at the airport. They could be either the airport staff, airline staff, Customs, Immigration, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO)or just any authorized persons who works at the airport. These people see anyone that travels by plane as wealthy who ought to be fleeced. I don’t think an outsider will come on the runway to steal anything.
This issue is becoming too rampant. Is there anything that can be done to discourage Nigerians from crime? Do we really have to start from the top by getting rid of institutionalized corruption or are there grassroots programs that can help reorient people?It is just sad, though I know there is no society without its ills but Nigerians seem to have a special problem. I mean, why else do we rank top in the world for most illegal activities?People just have no shame or consideration for fellow humans.
I don’t think there should be anyone on the runway area of the airport; it is supposed to be a restricted area. The fact that there were people there who could open the door from the back is a huge security risk. Not only could they possibly take something out of the aircraft, they could also put something in, like a bomb. Government should ensure there is 24 hours security in all airports to avoid cases of attacks.
These are the risks the airport authorities face if they do not ensure that the necessary procedures are in place to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to restricted areas like the cargo hold. It is unfortunate that the intruders were able to have access to the cargo hold, but they were fortunate also that the crew took quick action. They in fact applied some thrust to the engines which increased the amount of exhaust coming out which is very hot and that had the effect of scaring the people away.
I don’t think we should sweep this case under the carpet. The international community will be watching to know what we have done or we are going to do about the issue of the attacks. If we are saying that it is not possible for that to happen, they will know that we are not serious. This is because such robbery attacks are possible. It has been done in other countries where taxiing airplanes’ cargo compartments were opened, drugs taken and thrown out before the airplanes got to Customs. Quick action must be taken on this by the government.
I don’t think it is possible because aircrafts are highly technical machines.It is practically impossible for anyone who does not have the requisite training and competence to operate or tamper with the baggage compartment. I think there should be CCTV all over the airport. Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)should have personnel on ground looking at all these things. That is the way it is done. They should be able to see the aircraft from everywhere and they should be ready with their strike team. The strike team can be directed to take action once the security system has been compromised.
A holistic approach should be carried out on this matter by the government and solutions, provided. I don’t understand why people should be allowed to go to the tarmac and wander around. Nobody is carrying out any form of checks on such people because even with card given to them which is the On Duty Card (ODC), there are still places people should not be allowed to enter. A stop should be put to this before it goes out of hand.
This sounds impossible though, I don’t think these attacks happened on the runway because the runway is steadily under the watch of an Air Traffic Control (ATC). An aircraft on the runway maintains a minimum Take off Run (TOR) of about 60KTs, which no mortal can get close to, so the stealing would have happened during loading of luggage at the cargo hold. I believe this issue should be thoroughly investigated.
Airports are considered as international facilities because people of different nationalities use them, it behoves the authorities to provide a high level security that will guarantee the safety of all. It is from this perspective that we urge the Federal Government to strengthen security at the nation’s airports as recent incidents are not good for the image of the country. The airport management also should do more to check issues of theft especially at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), as no outsider can come into the airport except maybe airport workers that have been disengaged or workers that are presently working at the airport. Security at the airport should also be centralized and technology deployed in strategic areas.
There have been insinuations and speculations on the possibility of stealing from a moving aircraft. The baggage compartment door of an aircraft is often on the left side of the plane which is usually opened with the help of a button. This is applicable to smaller jets. No outsider without technical know-how of operating an aircraft can manoeuvre it. This can only happen with an insider’s involvement. I still believe this incident was a security breach. It is the duty of the airport authority to collaborate with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged robbing. This issue on ground is not the responsibility of the police but strictly an aviation security issue which must be internally looked into by both agencies.As far as I am concerned, we are not looking at the issue of theft now. They should be looking at the issue of breach in aviation security. Was it on the airport operator’s side? Was it on the airlines? The only way to find out is to go to the persons involved, go to the airline operators. Something happened somewhere. NCAA should be able to look into these. The investigation must equally cover baggage handlers who understand the techniques of an aircraft. You start with the airlines; the aircraft operators, before going into whether the incident happened or not. You can even start internally. As far as I am concerned, it is an internal job. I believe that a thorough investigation of the claim is imperative to safeguard the integrity of the airport which was recently certified by the NCAA. The implication of the certification of the airport is that the airport authority would bear full responsibility for security breaches at the airport.
For this to happen,I would point accusing fingers at insiders. I also blame the incident on inadequate security at the airport; there should be enough manpower and modern equipment at the airport. There is no way you can open a cargo hold if you have not worked at an airport before. An investigation needs to carried out internally;an outsider cannot operate on something he/she do not know about because an airplane is very technical to deal with. If is not the work of an insider, then information would have been given out to an outsider before such operation can be carried out. At this point, the minister should do his job diligently and see to the root of the problems going on at the airport especially in Lagos.
Why should this be happening in a country that has a law and constitution? The security in our country is nothing to write home about and it is affecting everyone. More than half of the airport is not monitored.People walk in and leave without any security to monitor their movements. Cameras are meant to be at every angle at the airport, the government has much to do when it comes to security in Nigeria.
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