An air disaster was averted on Friday after a 25-year-old man was apprehended around the airfield by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel manning the Charlie One (C1) link/holding area of the domestic terminal (GHQ) in Lagos.
According to reports, the intruder was apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos when he attempted to access an Air Peace aircraft heading to Owerri.
In a swift response, the AVSEC personnel on static guard duties at the area rushed to stop his further movement to a taxing aircraft (CS-TQU) and a struggle ensued. All efforts to stop the intruder by the unarmed AVSEC personnel failed as the intruder continued to resist arrest.
While the struggle was ongoing, the AVSEC personnel called for reinforcement and alerted the pilot of CS-TQU of the intrusion, and to delay the aircraft to allow for a successful apprehension of the intruder.
The intruder was eventually apprehended by the AVSEC personnel with the support of the reinforcement and was taken into custody for investigation.
The aircraft was also advised to return to base for necessary safety/security inspections in line with standard procedure.
Subsequently, the aircraft departed Lagos at 10:16hrs with 171 passengers and 6 crew members.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu in the company of the Directors of Aviation Security Services, Grp. Capt USA Sadiq (rtd) and Airport Operations, Capt Mukhtar Muye, the Regional General Manager (SW), Mrs. Victoria Shina-Aba and the Airport Chief of Security (MMA), Mr. S.M Mamman inspected the site of the incident and discussed with the Captain of the aircraft.
It was disaster averted, and the Captain CS-TQU who spoke with FAAN Management team commended the action of the Aviation Security team.
According to him, it was a timely and professional action that protected the flight as he was not even aware of any intrusion until they alerted him.
Speaking on the incident, Air Peace spokesman, Stanley Olisa who confirmed the development said while the man was attempting to access the aircraft, there was another private jet behind. It was the pilot-in-command of the private jet that informed the Air Peace’s pilot-in-command that a young man was trying to force his way into the aircraft.
They, therefore, alerted the Aviation Security arm of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who stopped the man and whisked him away.