By Lawani Mikairu
Nigeria Airspace Management Authority, NAMA, Monday said it is not true that Azman Air plane on flight from Kano to Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja ran out of fuel after hovering the Abuja Airport for some minutes. The agency added that it does not have record of an Azman plane declaring an emergency that it is running out of fuel.
Reacting to the report that the Azman plane ran out of fuel after being prevented from landing, the Deputy Spokesman of NAMA, who spoke to Vanguard on behalf of the Communication Manager of NAMA, Mr Kahlid Ebele, said “ It is not true that the plane ran out of fuel as every plane , before embarking on any flight always has 3hours fuel backup in case of emergency”.
“A 45 minutes or less than 30minutes flight from Kano to Abuja could not have consumed the entire fuel in the plane even if the plane hovered for 1 hour. And our records at Abuja Airport did not show that such incident happened .”
An online media yesterday reported that “60 passengers aboard an Azman Air plane en route to Abuja were on Monday thrown into confusion as the aircraft almost ran out of fuel while hovering in the air for hours after it was prevented from landing.
“A source, who was also on board the Flight ZQ 2332 but asked not to be named, told Saharareporters that the aircraft departed Kano at 1:20pm and was expected to land at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja at 2:05pm . He said that when the pilot contacted the control tower for clearance for landing, he was told that he could not land because of some military planes on special operation were at the airport”.
“The pilot was in a dilemma and thought about returning to Kano after spending over an hour hovering in the air and having already announced that he was running out of fuel. Some passengers rejected the decision and prevailed on him to land, saying that they would be down with the consequences of violating the directive of the control tower”.
The pilot was said to have yielded to the request and landed without clearance from the control tower. Among the passengers were Sule Lamido, a presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly, and Senator Sabo Mohammed from Jigawa State.
The pilot was reported to have apologised to the passengers for the delay.
Some military planes belonging to Air Force are on aerial display rehearsal in Abuja ahead of the Independence Day celebration on October 1.