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Report that a man identified as Kunle Oni was caught stealing aboard a taxiing Air Peace flight at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos has come to many with shock and amazement. The report, which alleged that airport security operatives recovered several bundles of stolen naira notes from the thief, is an indication that safety may have been compromised in the aviation sector. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN manages airports across the country.

Report that a man identified as Kunle Oni was caught stealing aboard a taxiing Air Peace flight at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos has come to many with shock and amazement. The report, which alleged that airport security operatives recovered several bundles of stolen naira notes from the thief, is an indication that safety may have been compromised in the aviation sector. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN manages airports across the country.


Besides, another breach was reported in Ondo State, where cows invaded the Akure Airport, and prevented another Air Peace flight from landing. Interestingly, FAAN admitted its occurrence and had since apologized to the airlines and its passengers. It is worrisome that cases of insecurity had been reported at different periods in the aviation sector, fuelling speculations that the present insecurity in the country has permeated a hallowed sector that is regulated by international laws.
In December 2017, a private jet with registration number T7-A00 was attacked on the runway 18R in Lagos, as it taxied to the hanger of Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd. The jet operated from Istanbul to Nigeria. The pilot of the aircraft, Captain Emma Heering, claimed that he alerted the airport security when he discovered that the rear door of the plane had opened. In yet another occurrence, a Bombardier Challenger 605 private jet, with registration number T7-A00, was allegedly robbed while also taxiing on the runway in Lagos. The plane was flying from Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, to Lagos with two Nigerian musicians on board.
While some had doubted the possibility of an aircraft being robbed while the engine is still running and the compartment closed, some experts asserted that similar cases had occurred in the past. The CEO of Aero Contractors, who is a pilot, Captain Ado Sanusi, disclosed that similar cases occurred in 1990. The result was that the then Federal Government gave a shoot at sight order against any unauthorized person found at the restricted areas. Sanusi recalled a particular incident involving Air Gabon, when the cargo compartment was opened and bags were stolen and thrown out by suspected thieves.
The current trend is unacceptable. FAAN must do more to secure our airports and restore confidence in its capacity to ensure safety of airport users because Nigeria cannot afford a downgrade by the International Civil Aviation Authorities, ICAO, the Federal Aviation Administration, or the Transport Security Administration of the U.S.A. THEWILL cautions relevant aviation authorities to tighten security in and around the airports and regulate the issuance of On Duty Cards, ODC, which it issues to people who have duties to perform in closed places. We support the calls by aviation experts that security operatives be deployed in the loose ends of the runway, while Closed Circuit Television, CCTV be mounted to monitor taxiing airplanes.

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