Chinedu Eze in Lagos and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), wednesday reassured passengers and all airport users of safety across the nation’s airports, following a false bomb alert at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
Air Peace passengers were wednesrday petrified when they received false information a mentally challenged person who was denied boarding of the flight that there was bomb in the aircraft.
When the pilot-in-command of the flight received the information he took immediate action by returning to base, which was the airport of departure.
The Corporate Communications Manager of the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah who confirmed the incident, said the crew of Air Peace Flight P4 7121 returned to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after receiving information that there was an explosive on board the aircraft.
According to Iwarah, passengers commended the crew of the flight for acting professionally and took the decision to return to the airport as a precautionary measure.
He attributed the false information to an intending passenger who was denied boarding after the crew suspected that he might be mentally challenged.
“We confirm that Air Peace Flight P4 7121, Abuja-Lagos on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 returned to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after the crew received information that there was a dangerous item on board.
“In line with procedures and our high safety standards, the captain-in-command acted professionally, briefed passengers on board and took the decision to return as a precaution. The aircraft landed in Abuja without any incident and passengers disembarked normally to enable security personnel conduct a check.
“The passenger who gave the information has since been taken into custody by security operatives for exhaustive investigation into the incident.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in a statement by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, also confirmed the bomb scare to be false.
Yakubu, stated that the passenger who raised the alarm reportedly has a history of mental illness and is currently with the security agencies and medical experts for assessment.
“Following the false information, officers of FAAN’s aviation security swiftly evacuated passengers, crew and cargo on board the flight and a bomb squad immediately conducted a thorough check on the aircraft and baggage, which confirmed the information to be false.
“Aftermath of the due diligence test carried out on the aircraft, a fresh boarding call has been made and passengers have boarded the flight for take-off to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos,” she stated.