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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Air Peace Chief Pilot explains Port Harcourt runway incursion

Air Peace Chief Pilot explains Port Harcourt runway incursion

Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace, on Thursday disclosed that it has made it a tradition to double the training requirements stipulated by the regulatory authorities for its pilots and other crew members.

The intent, it said, was to boost the confidence of members of the flying public about the airline’s commitment to safe flight operations devoid of any compromise.

Chief Pilot of the airline, Capt. Victor Egonu spoke with newsmen against the backdrop of recent incident involving its aircraft which overshot the runway of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa Rivers State.

During the incident currently being investigated by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) as required by law, passengers were calmly evacuated without any of them hurt.

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The Chief Pilot who blamed the incident on the heavy downpour at the airport said its crew handled the situation professionally to the extent of receiving applause from the passengers who were calm all through the incident.

He hinted that the runway in Port Harcourt Airport had encountered series of challenges in recent times.

“In Port Harcourt, we have a very old runway. They have this depression on the runway that tends to hold water. It doesn’t drain very well,” he said.

Explaining the incident further, he said, “Right from Abuja where the flight departed, the report they (the crew) got was that there was likelihood of thunderstorm in PH. But as at the time they were leaving Abuja, the weather was fine but there was a trend that there would be a thunderstorm.

So they got to Port Harcourt and the radar showed them that there was a storm. The captain at 15 miles to landing called the tower and asked if it was raining. And the controller reply was negative, that it was not raining.“

“So they continued the approach and there was no turbulence. When they were now handling back to tower official to get the landing clearance, the controller gave them landing clearance to land on 2.1. They advised runway surface is wet. So they continued the approach and when they were about landing, it started drizzling”.

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