By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
Domestic carrier, Air Peace has disagreed with the contents of a press statement released by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), suggesting that the airline has consistently failed to file Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) on incidents involving its aircraft.
Wondering if such statement was issued in good faith, Air Peace stated that the press statement emanating from the Bureau, was a misrepresentation of facts concerning the incidents in question.
According to the airline, in the night of May 15, 2019, an Air Peace Boeing 737-300 with registration number 5N – BUK made a hard landing in Lagos on account of sudden change in weather at the point of touch down.
In a statement issued yesterday by the airline’s management in Lagos, the operator said the AIB grossly misrepresented the facts when it alluded that the airline only reported the incident, after the Bureau’s team visited its corporate headquarters in Lagos on June 6, 2019, which was about three weeks after the incident.
Contrary to the statement issued by the AIB, Air Peace duly notified the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of the incident on May 16, 2019, before it followed up with a written communication and subsequently filed an MOR on May 17, 2019, with reference number APL/QM/279/19.
The said MOR filed by the airline was received and signed for by the NCAA on the same date. The airline complied with the statutory time-lime for the filing of MOR. The airline said it was still in shock over the deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the AIB, and questioned the motive behind the press statement.
The airline queried, “Was the press statement intended to scare the flying public against an airline that has consistently demonstrated zero tolerance for unsafe practices?”
The airline also expressed surprise at AIB’s dredging up of the incident, which occurred on December 14, 2018, en-route Enugu Airport, during which oxygen masks were automatically deployed as a result of change in cabin pressure. The airline said matters related to masks dropping during flight is not peculiar to Air Peace, but common to airlines the world over.
Air Peace questions if it was not an aberration for an Accident Investigation Bureau to do acts capable of not only misleading the flying public, but also deliberately creating unnecessary fear in their minds.
Air Peace said it, makes bold to state that the mention of ‘other airlines’, without naming them is a mere smokescreen. The target is Air Peace, the airline said.
AIB had on Monday accused Air Peace and some airlines of persistent failure to report accidents or serious incidents to the Bureau as mandated by law.
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