The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has launched an investigation into the Skybird Gulfstream 4 aircraft that skidded off the runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The spokesman for AIB, Mr Tunji Oketunbi who confirmed the investigation to our reporter on phone last night said, “Yes. Our men (investigators) are on top of it (the accident). I will communicate as soon as I have preliminary information.”
A jet belonging to Skybird Aviation on Wednesday night overshot Runway 22 and was stuck on the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) about 30 metres from runway end. The incident occured at about 10:20pm.
Our reporter also gathered that the runway surface was wet at the time of incident. Following the incidence, the runway was shut to traffic but a notice to airmen on Thursday morning indicated a partial opening of the runway.
Thus the runway distance was reduced from 4,000 metres to 3,000 metres to enable rescue team evacuate the aircraft.
However, only aircraft that can land within the 3,000m runway were cleared for landing until the aircraft is evacuated.
Similarly, a statement from Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs confirmed the incidence saying, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has reopened the runway to take arrivals and departures, subject to a reduced threshold of 3,000 metres.”
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Abuja airport throughout the period the airport runway was closed to traffic.
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