Friday, August 10, 2012

Panic at Port Harcourt airport as aircraft lands in the dark

Passengers flying through the Omagwa International Airport in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have expressed concern over absence of proper lightings and adequate infrastructure around the airport area.

Speaking with Nation Evening Express shortly after an airplane was forced to land without adequate light on Wednesday, passengers decried a situation they said was capable of causing another crash.

Sources said there was anxiety when the pilot announced that there was “no light” after he managed a rough landing.

Reacting about the traumatic experience, the passengers said it is wrong for an airport to operate without light at that hour of the day and cautioned the management to be conscious of the safety of the passengers.

Mrs. Ibinabo Grace, one of the aggrieved passengers, said: “The Port Harcourt Airport is too local compared to other airports in African countries. Look at what happened to us while we were trying to land; the pilot announced to us that he could not see clearly for safe landing because there was no light at the Airport.

“Where in the world would an aircraft land by 7:30pm without light? Even in the afternoon, some airports use light not to talk of night. The Governor should warn the management before it gets out of hand,” she said.

Another passenger, Mr. Edwin Obi, said: “When the manager was pleading with us, he said the mistake was because some construction work was going on at the Airport, but that is not enough reason why they should endanger our lives.

“Since I know this Airport, it has been one construction work or the other and it has never ended or completed, even as the Airport lacks certain infrastructure such as shopping complex and other things vital to passengers.

Responding on the issue, the regional manager of Omagwa International Airport, Mr. Henry Anyawu, apologized for the incident.

He said: “Presently, a lot of work is going on at the Airport, but passengers are free to complain about any issue they discover to the management. However, we are sorry for the inconveniences the absence of light, which was not up to a minute, has caused them.”

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