The Aviation Security (AVSEC) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has arrested a man suspected of attempting to stowaway on Air Peace aircraft.
A statement by Corporate Communications Executive, Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, said that the timely action by security operatives stopped the intruder from accessing the aircraft.
“This morning, at exactly 9:10 at the MMA1 (Murtala Muhammed International Airport, General Aviation terminal) Lagos, as Owerri-bound Air Peace aircraft (flight P47252) was taxing towards the threshold for takeoff, a man, in his twenties, emerged from the bush along the runway, and tried to gain access to the aircraft through the wheel-well (space where the wheels retract to).
“There was a private jet behind the aircraft. The pilot in command of the private jet informed the Air Peace pilot in command that a young man obviously in his twenties, was trying to force his way into the aircraft.”
The security wing of FAAN in charge of the airside of the airport was alerted and the man was accosted and whisked away.
Olisa said at the time the statement was made available to newsmen, the man was in the custody of FAAN.
“When interrogated on why he took the action, the man stated that he thought the aircraft was headed overseas.”
The airline commended FAAN for its timely intervention, while the authority is already investigating the incident. “Air Peace remains committed to the safety of its customers and will continue to demonstrate this commitment in all aspects of its operations. At Air Peace, safety is at the heart of what we do,” Olisa said.
However, FAAN in response to the incident explained in a statement that about 0850hrs (8:50a.m.) December 27, 2019, a young man of about 25yrs was sighted around the air field by FAAN Aviation Security personnel manning the Charlie One (C1) link/holding area.
“In a swift response, the AVSEC personnel on stat
ic guard duties at the area rushed to stop his further movement towards a taxiing Air Peace aircraft numbered APK 7252 and with registration number (CS-TQU) and a struggle ensued. All efforts to stop the intruder by the unarmed AVSEC personnel failed as the intruder continued to resist arrest.
“While the struggle was ongoing, the AVSEC personnel called for reinforcement and alerted the pilot of CS-TQU of the intrusion, and to delay the aircraft to allow for a successful apprehension of the intruder.
“The intruder was eventually apprehended by the AVSEC personnel with the support of the reinforcement and has been taken into custody for investigations.
“The aircraft was also advised to return to base for necessary safety/security inspections in line with standard procedure. Subsequently, the aircraft departed Lagos at 10:16, with 171 passengers, and six crew,” the FAAN statement, signed by its spokesperson, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said.
According to the agency, FAAN Managing Director in company of the Directors of Aviation Security services, and Airport operations, the Regional General Manager (SW) and the Airport Chief of Security (MMA) inspected the site of the incident and discussed with the Captain of the flight, who commended the action of the Aviation Security team. According to him, it was timely and professional in protecting the flight, as he was not even aware of any intrusion until the security operatives alerted him.