THE operations of Dana Air was again grounded due to recorded incidences of Plane Engine Failure midair, it has been revealed.
On Sunday, October 6, 2013, Air Regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), wielded the big stick by shutting down operations of Dana Air.
This is coming just few days after an Associated Airlines plane crashed shortly after take-off in Lagos. The ill-fated flight was conveying the remains of former Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu to Akure, Ondo State for final burial, when it fell from the sky near Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Mafoluku, Lagos. Out of the 20 people on board, only four were reported to be on the survivor list.
Dana Air’s frequent records of engine failure and emergency landing put paid to its suspension for the third time since it resumed operations after the Sunday, June 3, 2012 air crash in Lagos, killing 153 people on board and another 10 on ground. The development is giving the regulatory authorities a cause for concern and they want to avoid another tragic air crash. One of the scenarios of Dana Air plane air return due to engine failure occurred not too long ago when its plane made an emergency landing in Lagos, shortly after take-off. And knowing full well that some of the air mishaps as recorded in recent years were due to total engine breakdown, the recent Associated Airlines’ crash inclusive, its operation was suspended.
And to further compound the matter, some of those who witnessed the emergency landing made personal calls to the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, who in return reacted by placing the suspension on the operations of the airline.
Since the suspension, however, most of the key staff of the airline have stayed away from work. We visited the Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos administrative office of Dana Air, and the security personnel at the entrance told ENCOMIUM Weekly that the airline’s Head of Communications, Tony Usidamen didn’t come to work that day, Thursday, October 10, 2013, because of the suspension. Nothing could be done since the planes are grounded. We also called the airline’s office number on Friday, October 11, 2013, the respondent, a lady told us that the airline is on suspension and because of that nobody is in the office to speak to us.
We, however, got the airline’s reaction to the suspension as communicated by Mr. Tony Usidamen explaining reason why the airline was suspended. “We regret to announce the temporary suspension of our flight operations following a directive from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. This, we understand, is to allow for an audit of the airline’s operations as a precautionary measure.
“At Dana Air, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is a major priority and we would continue to cooperate with aviation authorities and abide by all local and international safety regulations in the delivery of world class air transport services to our esteemed guests.”
Since Sunday, June 3, 2012, when a Dana Air plane, MD-83 crashed in Iju, Lagos killing 153 people, the airline has had its operations grounded thrice. The first being June 5, 2012, two days after the crash. Three months after resuming operations in January 2013, it was suspended and now the latest one.
– FOLUSO SAMUEL