Passengers stranded as plane overshoots runway in Abuja - PUNCH
BY Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
Many air travellers were stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Thursday morning after an aircraft overshot the runway and disrupted flight operations.
It was gathered that the aircraft, a Gulfstream 4 belonging to Skybird, overshot the runway on Wednesday night and got stuck there.
Sources at the NAIA told our correspondent that the aircraft landed through Runway 22 and was stuck on the Runway End Safety Area.
“The RESA is about 30 metres from the Runway 22 end, and the incident happened at about 10.20pm local time yesterday (Wednesday),” one of the sources, who pleaded not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said.
“The runway surface was wet at time of incident,” another source stated.
The incident disrupted flight operations at the NAIA, a development that made a lot of passengers to be stranded at the Abuja airport on Thursday.
The lawmaker representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, in a post on Twitter, said many people were stranded, because the authorities could not provide the equipment to clear the runway.
Murray-Bruce, who was trapped at the NAIA on Wednesday night, tweeted, “I am on a Dana flight meant to leave the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport at 9pm but still stuck here because a plane overshot the runway and there is difficulty getting the right equipment to clear the runway.
“Both domestic and international flights are stuck. So much for the promised change!”
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confirmed the incident through its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Henrietta.
She said FAAN had, however, reopened the runway to take arrivals and departures, subject to a reduced threshold of 3,000 metres.
Yakubu stated, “Following the partial closure of Runway 22 of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 2200 hours yesterday (Wednesday), September 12, 2018, due to an incident involving a Gulfstream 4 aircraft being operated by Skybird that overshot the runway while landing and consequently got stuck on the Runway End Safety Area, FAAN has now reopened the runway to take arrivals and departures, subject to a reduced threshold of 3,000 metres.
“The authority will like to assure airlines and passengers that the airport is safe for normal operations.”