The regional manager, South-West Airports of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) Mr. Edward Olarerin, has said that the agency has the state-of-the-art equipment and trained personnel to respond promptly to accidents and incidents around all the airports in the country.
Olarerin stated this at a recent inter-agency mock rescue operation carried out at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The exercise involved the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Red Cross, FAAN and Lagos State fire services as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Olarerin said the authority and aviation stakeholders are prepared to handle every air emergency situations in the country, disclosing that the authority just received state-of-the-art ambulances in the South-West region.
He said the aircraft used in the demonstration exercise actually took off from Lagos to Abuja but the pilot made an air return when he noticed that one of the two engines had failed.
“The ambulances are fully equipped. I was at the Emergency Operational Centre (EOC) as the incident commander with other security agencies. I had to activate the emergency centre. We had 54 people on board the dummy aircraft; we rescued 49 injured people while five died,” he said.
The regional manager assured listeners that the airport authority would make the mock exercise mandatory in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) recommendation.
He said ICAO mandates FAAN to take responsibility of any accident happening within the airport environment or five kilometers to the airport while NEMA takes charge of accidents outside the airport environment.