Xejet aircraft with 52 passengers skids off runway, FAAN shuts facility

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has shut the 18/Left runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos following an incident involving XEJET Airlines aircraft that skidded off the runway on landing into the grass.

The aircraft with registration 5N-BZZ with 52 passengers departed Abuja and landed at 11.29 am.

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) confirmed that an aircraft belonging to Xejet Airlines skidded off the runway of the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Saturday morning.

It noted that a go team had been deployed to the site of the incident.

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The temporary closure of the runway limits the airport to one single runway which is expected to lead to aircraft delays and landing coupled with the heavy downpour in Lagos that occurred around the period the aircraft landed with no injuries to passengers.

Aviation Metric learnt that fire and rescue were said to have responded to the aircraft to forestall in case of fire outbreak from the aircraft.

Skidding off of airport runways has become a common occurrence with more than three incidents in about a month.

Just last month, Dana MD-82 aircraft was involved in the skidding off of the runway, necessitating the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to order the suspension of the carrier for a comprehensive auditing.

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Last year, in November, two aircraft from two different airlines skidded off the runway, in one week.

Aero Contractors, flight NG 119 with a registered Boeing 737 aircraft 5N-BYQ from Lagos to Abuja had a total of 133 passengers on board.

All passengers were safely evacuated through a controlled disembarkation.

In the same week, an aircraft operated by ValueJet Airline slipped on a taxi turn after landing and cleared off the runway at Port Harcourt airport at 3.30 local time. No damage was done to the aircraft.

United Airlines also recorded an incident in September 2023 where its aircraft also skidded off the runway.

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Experts are of the view that aircraft skidding off runways is a common occurrence all over the world and part of the operational procedure pilots are trained for.

Wole Shadare

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