By Chinedu Eze
A passenger’s false smoke alarm prompted the pilot in command of Air Peace Lagos-Owerri flight to abort flight to destination and returned to base.
This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesman of the airline, Chris Iwarah who explained that the passenger claimed to be smelling smoke in the aircraft cabin.
Iwarah also disclosed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday renewed the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of the airline after months of rigorous audit of its operations.
The Corporate Communications Manager said the Owerri-bound flight had to return to Lagos as a precautionary measure and in line with the airline’s zero-risk policy.
The flight, the statement said, landed smoothly in Lagos with passengers on board maintaining their calm.
He said that checks by Air Peace engineers confirmed that there was no smoke anywhere in the aircraft.
“We confirm that our 9 a.m. Lagos-Owerri flight returned to base on Friday after one of our esteemed guests informed our crew that he was smelling smoke in the cabin. Although nothing indicated in the flight deck that there was anything wrong with the aircraft, our crew decided to return to base as a precautionary measure and in compliance with our zero-risk policy.
“The aircraft landed smoothly in Lagos and our team of engineers immediately conducted thorough checks on the aircraft while all our guests calmly remained in their seats. The checks confirmed that there was neither smoke nor any other fault with the aircraft. Despite the assurances of our engineers that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the aircraft, we decided to transfer our valued guests to another aircraft to enable our teams do another round of checks in line with our high safety standards.
“We commend our valued guests for their calm disposition and cooperation while the checks lasted. Although checks by our engineers confirmed that the aircraft was in perfect working condition, we encourage our guests to always feel free to share anything they notice in our flight operations with us as critical stakeholders of the Air Peace family”, the airline said.
In another development, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has renewed the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of the carrier after subjecting its operations to months of rigorous audit.
The AOC signed by the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Usman Muhtar, said Air Peace was authorised to undertake scheduled, cargo and charter operations.
Speaking on the development, Iwarah said it confirmed the sustenance of the high standard of Air Peace’s flight operations.
The airline assured that it would continue to place the safety of its guests and crew above any other consideration.