FG Suspends Dana Air License After Lagos Airport Incident

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Dana Air’s Air Operators Certificate has been suspended by the Federal Government to carry out a comprehensive safety audit.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) made this announcement in a statement released on Wednesday evening.

This decision was made in response to an incident where a Dana Air plane veered off the runway at Lagos airport and ended up in a nearby field within 24 hours.

The aircraft, registered as 5N BKI, had 83 passengers on board, all of whom and the crew members safely disembarked. Following the incident, emergency responders and regulatory agencies promptly initiated an investigation to determine the cause.

While awaiting the findings of the Nigerian Safety and Investigation Bureau, the NCAA stressed the importance of conducting an audit of the carrier’s operations.

The suspension of Dana Air’s AOC was officially confirmed in a letter signed by the Acting Director of NCAA, Chris Najomo, with reference number NCAA/DGCA/DANA/1/24/001.

Before obtaining the inquiry report from the Nigeria Safety Inquiry Bureau, the NCAA stated that they had initiated an internal compliance evaluation of the event, taking into account Dana’s history of such incidents.

The NCAA stated:

As a precautionary step, and in accordance with Sec 31 (7) of the Civil Aviation Act 2022, the Authority has imposed a suspension on your Air Operator Certificate (AOC) with effect from 24th April, 2024 at 23:59 to allow for a thorough safety and economic audit.

“The safety audit will entail re-inspection of your organisation, procedures, personnel, and aircraft as specified by Part of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, while the economic audit will critically examine your airline’s financial health to guarantee its capability to sustain safe flight operations.”

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, previously voiced his dissatisfaction regarding an incident involving a Dana aircraft.

A recent communication from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, as verified by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, highlighted significant worries about the safety and financial sustainability of Dana’s operations in light of a specific event.

The contents of the letter stated:

As the supervisor overseeing our nation’s aviation safety and regulatory compliance, it has come to the Honourable Minister’s attention that recent incidents involving Dana Airline.

“In light of these incidents and with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travellers, the Honourable Minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline’s fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted. This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations.

“The recent incidents have underscored the urgency of this matter, and it is imperative that swift and decisive action be taken to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders involved. I trust in your expertise and diligence in carrying out this audit thoroughly and expeditiously. Please keep me informed of the progress and any significant findings throughout this process.”

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