Max Air, vehicle in near-collision on Lagos airport runway

  • FAAN suspends airfield officer, begins probe



For providence, the country would have recorded an air accident on the domestic airport runway, otherwise known as 18L of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

A pick-up vehicle belonging to the civil department of FAAN was reported to have developed some electrical fault and since they didn’t have anyone to effect repairs, the officials resorted to inviting an auto electrician from outside the airport.

In between his arrival and attempts to effect repairs on the said vehicle, the FAAN staff who ought to have stayed and monitored the electrical repairs left him alone on the tarmac.


Max Air’s B737 airplane


Immediately after finishing the work he was asked to do, he started calling the staff for minutes on end without luck.

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Frustrated, the rewire jumped onto the vehicle, kicked it into life, and started driving it straight on the runway.

Experienced about operations around the runway, he came face to face with a B737 aircraft belonging to Max Air aircraft which was taxing for take-off at a huge speed with the aircraft and vehicle both faced each other in what had been a collision as a result of what it termed runway incursion.

runway incursion is an aviation incident involving improper positioning of vehicles or people on any airport runway or its protected area.

When an incursion involves an active runway being used by arriving or departing aircraft, the potential for a collision hazard or Instrument Landing System (ILS) interference can exist.

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At present, various runway safety technologies and processes are commonly employed to reduce the risk and potential consequences of such an event.

An air traffic controller who confirmed the incident said the situation was very serious, but expressed gratitude to God for averting what he said would have been catastrophic for aviation.

The control tower was said to have been called by the captain, forcing the control tower to alert the FAAN.

Sensing the danger and embarrassment the situation would have caused the country and FAAN in particular, the authority in a statement yesterday suspend the airfield officer on duty at the time the incident occurred.

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Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said, “Following an averted near incident involving a Max Air aircraft from Abuja, which landed on Runway 18L, and a maintenance vehicle belonging to the Civil Department of the Authority,  the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has suspended the airfield officer on duty at the time of the incident”.

She further stated that the authority had also commenced a full-scale investigation into the incident, with a view to preventing future re-occurrence of such incident.

Wole Shadare