THE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Friday launched into an investigation of how an intruder climbed an AZMAN Air plane awaiting clearance for take-off from the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
The plane was on a scheduled flight to Port Harcourt.
The yet to be identified man had emerged from the blue, ran towards the plane and, in a jiffy, climbed it to the top.
Astounded passengers and airports workers watched helplessly as the drama unfolded.
The man’s motive was not immediately clear.
General Manager, Public Affairs, of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the incident.
She said the pilot of the aircraft marked with the registration number 5N – HAI reported the incident.
She said: “At about 1009 hours, aviation security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria arrested an intruder who was sighted trying to climb into an Azman aircraft waiting for clearance from air traffic controllers.
“The pilot of the Azman aircraft with the registration number 5N-HAI, departing Lagos to Port Harcourt, reported the incident and Avsec officials swiftly responded. The man has been apprehended and is now in Avsec’s custody.
“The aircraft taxied back to the apron for a thorough check and has departed for Port Harcourt afterwards.
“The authority is already investigating the incident.”
Read Also: FAAN hails Uguwanyi on airport security
The development sparked an outrage at the airport with people expressing concern over security lapses around the airside.
Many passengers blamed porous security for the infraction which they said had exposed the underbelly of security at the airport.
Reacting to the development on Friday, a security expert, Group Captain John Ojikutu ( rtd) , wondered how the intruder gained access into the controlled area.
He said: “How could he have entered the security controlled areas? Either through the airport access controlled areas or from the porous areas, especially the airport perimeter fences that need security enhancement.
“By the way, how many people working in the airport security controlled areas, especially the airside, are properly documented to have access to those areas?
“How many of them do we have sufficient background checks on. I need not say more.”
Another security expert, Mr. Fortune Idu, said a review of security procedures, prescribing a template on the management of access into critical areas of the airport, has become imperative.
He said: “It is important to review security procedures immediately and the management of access into critical areas of the airport . Suspension of the staff concerned with this lapse is necessary in order to restore confidence.”