FAAN dismisses aircraft poaching allegation at Lagos airport

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has dismissed the allegation of poaching of aircraft on the runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

FAAN described the allegation as “baseless and practically impossible,” just as it said that investigations were still ongoing on the incident.

A statement by Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN 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 statement recalled that two incidents of alleged poaching were recently reported in the media, the latest being that which occurred on a chartered flight from Uyo to Lagos on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

The statement added: “The authority noted that in both instances, preliminary findings from investigations conducted by an inter-agency committee set up to probe the allegations could not substantiate the claims. The purported victims in the said cases also did not make themselves available for questioning, in the quest to unravel the case.

“Although, investigations are still ongoing, FAAN will like to reassure travellers and the general public that with the level of safety and security systems on ground at the airports, it is practically impossible for an aircraft to be burgled within our runways and aprons.”

It would be recalled that news had filtered out about two weeks ago about a poaching incident on the runway of Lagos Airport.

A Vistajet with the registration number 9H-VFA was purportedly attacked by unknown bandits while taxiing to apron. The incident allegedly occurred on the night of Tuesday, December 12, 2017 when the jet was taxiing to the apron.

Investigation had revealed that a big black bag belonging to the air hostess, named Francesca Louis was missing from the jet.

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