NCAA begins probe of security breach, runway invasion at Sokoto airport

NCAA begins probe of security breach, runway invasion at Sokoto airport

- Investigation has begun into the security breach and runway invasion at the Sokoto airport recently

- Supporters of Senator Aliyu Wammako invaded the airport to welcome him on arrival to the state

- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says appropriate sanctions will be melted at all those culpable in the incident

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday, August 9, launched an investigation into the recent security breach and invasion of restricted area at the Sultan Abubakar Sadiq III Airport, Sokoto.

Supporters of Senator Aliyu Wamakko had on Friday, August 3, invaded the airport runway and facilities to welcome him on arrival to the state.

The supporters of the senator gained access to the safety critical areas of the airport, making incursion on the runway, taxiway and apron as the aircraft of their principal, a former governor of the state, arrived.

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The NCAA, however, vowed that appropriate sanctions will be melted at all those culpable in the safety and security breach.

NCAA (Nig.CARs) Part 17.48.3(c), stipulates that “access by persons and vehicles to restricted areas, enhanced security restricted areas and sterile areas is restricted only to persons who have a clear need for such access by virtue of their duties.”

In addition, the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), 6.3.1. states “in accordance with the appropriate legislation, no person to whom the legislation applies, shall enter or remain in a Restricted Area, Enhanced Security Restricted Area, or tenant restricted area unless that person has in his or her possession a Restricted Area or Tenant Restricted Area Permit in respect of that restricted area or Tenant Restricted Area and complies with all conditions of issuance of the permit.”

Spokesperson of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said NCAA would not tolerate the re-occurrence of such “safety and security violations” at any of the nation’s airports.

Adurogboye said in view of the anticipated increase in aviation activities, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as well as other state and private aerodrome operators are hereby directed to beef up safety and security systems at their airports.

“Similarly, the general public is hereby warned to desist from the unlawful acts as NCAA will not hesitate to impose severe sanctions on any person, group of persons or organisations found culpable.

“The Regulatory Authority will continue to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference at all the nation’s airports,” he added.

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The general manager, corporate affairs at FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, had described the incident as unfortunate.

She said in a statement: “The unfortunate incident is a gross violation of the security and safety arrangements at the airport, as thousands of political loyalists violently accessed restricted areas at the airport, breaking down the airport fence in the process and resisting all security mechanisms in place.

“As the 2019 general elections are drawing closer, the authority will like to advise the general public, especially politicians and their supporters, to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations at the airports, as we will not compromise security and safety at our airports for any reason.”

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