Poaching: FG begins CCTV installation at airfields

  • Expert lauds move

The Federal Government has concluded plans to install Close Circuit (CCV) Cameras at many of the international airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The CCTV cameras are to be installed at the airfield and holding area near the threshold where aircraft take-off.

There are also indications that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may overhaul the entire security architecture of virtually all the airports to guarantee security.

The installation of the multimillion dollar equipment would commence next week according to a top management staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) who spoke to Woleshadare.net under strict condition of anonymity, this is just as government intensifies security at the country’s aerodrome which are said to be porous.

Aviation security consultant and former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group. Capt. John Ojikutu (Rtd) described it as a welcome development to reposition the airports, security wise.

He identified the threat to be along the holding point, parking bay and landing area.

 “After installing the CCTV cameras, you must have an intervention force that will respond immediately; otherwise it will just be a waste. They must have armed men. The immediate measure should be done now. This is what should have been done many years ago. They must be a good follow-me vehicle.. It is a welcome idea. If you detect something at the holding bay you must have intervention force not too far away from the area”.

The security lapses at the country that may have found expression at the nation’s airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed Airports, Lagos which had made bandits to allegedly rob airlines taxiing to their final stops.

Penultimate week, a private jet carrying two top Nigerian musical artists, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka “Wizkid” and Tiwa Savage from Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State was allegedly attacked and robbed while taxiing on Murtala Muhammed airport’s runway 18L.

 

The Bombardier Challenger 605 jet, with registration number T7-A00, was said to have arrived Lagos from Uyo about 8:33p.m and was slowly taxiing to the arrival hangar when the cargo compartment was burgled. The jet slowed to allow an Ethiopian Airline cargo plane, with registration number ET-ARH, to push back for take-off.

The pilot, Captain Cloud Cote, was said to have noticed the cargo door had been opened by burglars and promptly notified the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security, but the burglars had disappeared before FAAN officials could make it to the point where the attack took place.

Upon arrival at Quits Aviation Centre, a private jet hangar, the pilot discovered that two bags belonging to Ms. Savage and Wizkid had been stolen by the airport bandits.

FAAN swiftly, dismissed the allegations of poaching of aircraft and stealing of passengers baggage at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos, saying the allegations are baseless and practically impossible.

The Authority stated that it is not possible for anyone to burgle an aircraft in motion. Furthermore, because aircraft are highly technical machines, it is practically impossible for anyone who does not have the requisite training and competence to operate or tamper with the baggage compartment.

It would be recalled that two incidents of alleged poaching were recently reported, the latest being that which occurred on a chartered flight from Uyo to Lagos on the 26th December, 2017.

On December 12, 2017, a Vistajet jet with registration number 9H-VFA operated by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd was robbed on the runway 18R of the airport by bandits when taxiing to the hangar of EAN. The jet was arriving from Istanbul between 2110-2130hrs when the robbery took place after landing in Lagos.

The pilot of the jet, Captain Emma Heering, discovered that the rear door of the aircraft was opened while taxiing to the hangar of EAN after which it was discovered that a big black bag belonging to the airhostess, Francesca Louis, was missing from the jet.

Wole Shadare

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