Ilorin airport re-opens 24 hours after Air Peace tyre burst incident

  • NCAA, AIB, Airline dismiss crash report 
  • Overland, Arik cancel flights over runway blockage


For more than 24 hours, the Ilorin International Airport runway was shut ,occasioned by Air Peace’s B737 aircraft that got stuck on the runway after two of its tyres burst shortly after landing Friday morning.

The incident led to temporary closure of the  run-way and prevented the operations of other airlines( Overland airways and Arik).

Aviation Metric reliably gathered that the engineers arrived at Ilorin today at 07:45 hours, they were able to replace the damaged tyres and towed the aircraft out of the run-way to the Nigeria AAir Force hangar at 15:08 hours on Saturday.

The closure of the facility led to a huge loss to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria  (FAAN) and other carriers operating to the facility as the airplane could not be removed from the runway, causing cancellation of flights by Overland and Arik and other non scheduled flights to Ilorin on Friday and Saturday. After the cleaning and inspections,  the run-way was declared open at 17:17 hours on Saturday.

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Burst tyres of Air Peace’s B737 aircraft. The tyres had since been replaced and returned back to the airline

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in a statement said that an aircraft belonging to Air Peace B737-500 with Registration Mark 5N-BQR was not involved in a crash in Ilorin. Kwara State.

Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye stated categorically that there was no air accident in Nigeria involving Air Peace or any airline. According to Adurogboye, “As a matter of fact,the said aircraft which departed from Abuja successfully landed in Ilorin. It only experienced a tyre burst  in the course of taxing.

“Meanwhile, all the 66 passengers and 6 crew members onboard were disembarked without any issues whatsoever on the same day being the 23rd of July, 2021. The authority wishes to enjoin the travelling public to disregard such false and reckless presentation”.

“We want to urge our media partners to inculcate professionalism and avoid false news which will harm our blossoming reputation. NCAA is committed to ensure safe and secure air transport in Nigeria and will stop at nothing towards ensuring our over eight (8) years of zero accident, no fatality in scheduled flight operations continues”.

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) also in a statement by its spokesman,  Tunji Oketunbi confirmed an incident involving Air Peace B737-500 with Registration Marks 5N-BQR that occurred in Ilorin at about 10:30am on Friday, stressing that there were 66 passengers and six crew onboard.

He disclosed that the AIB Safety investigators did an evaluation of the occurrence and decided NOT to investigate the incident,  noting that the aeroplane had been released to the Operator (Air Peace).

The delay in opening the Airport he said was down to the recovery of the aeroplane from the runway by FAAN and Airpeace. The aeroplane he reiterated had burst tyres on landing roll.

Refuting a media report (Not Aviation Metric) that one of its planes crash landed in Ilorin, the management of Air Air Peace said the story had no iota of truth in it.

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According to the airline, “For the record, no such thing happened. The reports misrepresented and exaggerated the facts. We can confirm that the aircraft in question landed safely but had a minimal tyre burst while taxing. This debunks all the mischievously headlined reports circulating online, which should be disregarded”.

“Our aircraft neither crashed nor crash landed in illorin or in any place for that matter. This kind of sensationalism is bad and was intended to cause panic in the minds of the flying public”.

“It was duly reported to the authorities and passengers disembarked seamlessly. The tyres have, however, been fixed and aircraft is intact. We condemn sensational publication of falsehood”.

Wole Shadare