The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has underscored the need for additional scrutiny and precaution in the aviation sector in order to ensure safe operations and passenger satisfaction.
The Director General of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera made the assertion in a statement issued on Friday, March 9, 2018 following an emergency landing of Arik Air Flight W3304 at Kotoka International Airport, Accra (ACC), Ghana on Tuesday evening.
Irukera acknowledged the efforts of the Sector regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in this direction, insisting that these efforts should be reinforced to avoid incidents in the sector and to sustain consumer confidence.
According to him, “the FCCPC again encourages relevant aviation authorities to ensure full compliance with local and other applicable consumer protection laws, regulations and protocols particularly, but not limited to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations Part 19.
“Although there have been reported accidents in world aviation in recent times, and incidents in Nigeria, FCCPC understands that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is exercising additional scrutiny and precaution to continue to ensure safe operations and passenger satisfaction. FCCPC welcomes this assurance while underscoring the importance of such efforts to avoid incidents and sustain consumer confidence in the sector”, he added.
The director general disclosed that “on Tuesday March 6th, 2018, Arik Air Flight W3304 departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos (LOS) for Kotoka International Airport, Accra (ACC) at approximately 19:15hrs for a 55-minute flight. The flight was operated by a Dash8 Q400 turbo propeller aircraft.
“Close to arrival and approximately 81 miles from ACC, passengers reported smoke in the cabin of the aircraft. The captain confirmed that there was smoke in the cabin from an unknown source, but secured the operation of the aircraft. He declared an emergency and landed the aircraft in accordance with emergency landing procedures.
“All passengers and crew disembarked safely and ultimately received their baggage. FCCPC understands that Ghanaian aviation authorities have been notified and (in partnership with Nigerian Civil aviation authorities) are in charge of inquiring into, and investigating the incident. The aircraft has remained on ground in Accra accordingly” he further pointed out.