National News

Frequent Power Outage At Bauchi Airport Raises Safety Concerns

Published by Zainab Sabitu

A number of passengers and aviation stakeholders have expressed concerns over frequent power outage at Sir Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa Airport, Bauchi.

Insiders said the issue might not be unconnected with corruption and negligence of the airport managers.

Passengers aboard a Max Air plane from Abuja to Bauchi on Wednesday night were thrown into panic after the aircraft took a sudden go-around after final approach.

It was gathered that the reason for the go-around was absence of light at the tarmac.

One of the passengers who spoke to DAILY NIGERIAN on the condition of anonymity said the aircraft, with registration number VM1638, was left hovering in the air for almost 20 minutes before it could be cleared to land.

An aviation insider at airport told our correspondent that the go-around was caused by a power outage, attributing the development to a poor management and sharp practices by the management of the airport.

“The Bauchi State government has made provision for 12 hours of diesel daily, but the manager prefers to keep the place in darkness until an aircraft is about to land before they turn on the generator.

“What if the generator failed to start? It is obvious they are putting people’s lives at risk.

“It has always been their practice to keep the place in darkness despite the state government paying for 12 hours fueling daily. That is what led to the unfortunate incident we experienced today. It has been happening here,” the source alleged.

According to him, most airlines that operate at the airport have small generators they use to print tickets and keep their offices running.

When contacted to respond to the allegations at 9:41am on Thursday, the airport manager, Shehu Aliyu-Wunti, told our correspondent that he was at the hospital and would revert.

He is however yet to respond to the allegations 10 hours after our initial enquiry.

Meanwhile, the acting general manager, Public Affairs, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said the airport is owned by the state government and FAAN is not fully in charge of its operations.

“They are the ones in charge of whatever facilities they are managing right now. We are only there to cover security, aerodromes, fire rescue and other operations.

“The equipment that powers the airport is fully the responsibility of the state government,” she added.

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Zainab Sabitu

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