By Emeka Mamah
ENUGU—HUNDREDS of air passengers travelling from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to other parts of the country were yesterday, stranded at the airport due to the harmattan season which has reduced visibility in the sky in the last five days.
This was even as officials of the airport told Vanguard yesterday morning that a jet which tried to access the airport nearly crash landed along the Airport Road, Emene, near Enugu because the pilot “could not pick the runway due to poor visibility.”
They said, “In the last five days, no local aircraft has either taken off or landed in Enugu due to the poor weather situation.”
According to the sources, it was only an Ethiopian Airline aircraft which landed in Enugu about two days ago at the airport as NIMET had not given the authorities clearance to allow aircrafts land or take off.
“It is NIMET that allows us to clear aircrafts to either take off or land.
“In the last five days, they have not given us the permission. The normal situation is that pilots should be able to have visibility for up to 1,500 nodical miles ahead.
“Now, they cannot even see beyond 1000. If it is around 1,200 miles, they can manage.
“A jet nearly landed along the Emene Airport road two days ago because it couldn’t locate the runway here.
“However, the Ethiopian Airways aircraft was able to land successfully because, as a big aircraft, it had internal facilities with which it could track the runway. That is why passengers have been finding it difficult to come in through Abuja, Lagos or any other airport to Enugu.”
A stranded passenger, Mr Eze Gogo, said he was to travel through the Air Peace airline to Lagos before he was informed that the flight was cancelled as a result of bad weather, adding that the cancellation would affect him badly as the roads in the south east were in very bad shape, hence travelling by road was not an option.