Two weeks after it was closed to air travelers because of safety reasons, flights resumed at the Ibadan airport on Wednesday, the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN reports that the airport was closed to flights two weeks ago following the breakdown of the fire truck at the facility.
The situation resulted in many passengers who had booked on the two scheduled airlines that operate from the airport – ARIK and OVERLAND – having to catch their flights in Lagos.
In an interview with NAN on Wednesday, Mr. Olufemi Awolade, the Airspace Manager, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Ibadan Airport, said that the closure of the airspace was in compliance with ICAO regulations.
Awolade said that the safety of air travelers necessitated the closure of the airport to flights, because the fire truck available at the facility had broken down.
“When there is no fire cover, an airport is not supposed to operate and in compliance with ICAO regulations, the airport was closed.
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“We consequently sent a “Notice to Airmen’’ (NOTAMN) and closed the airport to air traffic.
“Ideally, there should be a minimum of two fire trucks at an airport like the one in Ibadan, but when the serviceable one broke down; there was no option but to close the airport to traffic.
“Safety is paramount and we do not compromise on it for anything. When Gov. Abiola Ajimobi wanted to fly from the airport two Saturdays ago, we told him it was closed because of the issue of fire cover,’’ the official said.
He said that the intervention of the governor, who provided a fire truck for the airport, has led to the cancellation of the closure order.
Awolade said that a fire truck was sent on Tuesday by Governor Ajimobi, which resulted in the re-opening of the airport.
The airspace manager pleaded with travelers who use the airport not to mind the inconvenience, saying the issue of safety necessitated the closure.
“We don’t want to record any accident or incident at the airport and that is why we give priority to safety issues,’’ he said.
The official said that the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had also started the repair of the broken down fire truck.
An official of ARIK told NAN that flights had resumed at the airport and the airline had a scheduled flight expected to leave for Abuja at 5.00 p.m.
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