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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Security Breach: This Boy Flies Arik Air From Benin To Lagos; Hiding In Tyre Hole

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This teenage boy beat airline and airport security at the Benin Airport and sneaked into the tyre compartment of a Lagos-bound Arik plane, where he flew safely to the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Saturday morning.

There was, however, pandemonium at the airside of the Lagos airport when passengers disembarking from the aircraft saw the teenager as he emerged from the undercarriage (aircraft tyre hole) to join his "fellow" travellers.
The adolescent stowaway, identified as Daniel Ihekina, was immediately arrested by security officials at the airport. The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Arik Air confirmed the incident.

Although the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said full and urgent investigation had commenced into the mysterious circumstances that led to the huge breach in airport and airline security, the situation has continued to beat the imagination of aviation authorities in the country.

The situation, which has become a major source of worry among the authorities, has also led to a blame game between FAAN and Arik.

FAAN, in a statement on Saturday, said it held “Arik Air liable for the circumstances leading to the stowaway of a teenage boy on its aircraft at the Benin Airport. Arik Air acted with impunity by not stopping the aircraft to check when the crew and ground personnel’s attention was drawn to an abnormality on the tarmac.”

According to the FAAN spokesman, the procedure for such infraction is for the crew to abort the flight and return to the apron for check-up.

He blamed the airline for the alleged impunity, warning that the airport authority would not tolerate such infraction from any operator.

The teenage boy is already giving useful information to unravel this ‘misnomer.’

In a swift reaction, Arik, blamed FAAN for the huge breach in security, noting that the incessant cases of security breaches at the nation’s airport had become a major source of concern to the airline.

The statement by Arik’s Managing Director, Mr. Chris Ndulue, said:
“We are worried by the incessant security lapses at our airports. We are appealing to the management of FAAN to immediately address the problem.

“The management of Arik Air has expressed shock over the incident, wondering how the teenager beat the aviation security personnel at the Benin Airport to get to the runway.”

Arik said its pilot had reported to the control tower the presence of a strange boy in the bush about 200 – 300 metres at the end of runway before leaving the airport.

Ndulue said the control tower had told its pilot that they were sending security men to the place to arrest the boy but nothing was done.




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