A mishap was averted at the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos when a speeding vehicle had a near collision with a Dana Air plane taxiing to take off on Runway 18L of the airport.
The unfortunate incident, which happened on December 21, 2021, occurred barely one week after a landing Max Air jet almost rammed into a malfunctioning car being tested on Runway 18L.
However, the latest incident involved a Dana Air MD 83 plane with registration number 5N JOY which was departing Lagos airport for Enugu with a total of 157 passengers and seven crew members on board.
The aircraft was taxiing to join Runway 18L for take-off when the speeding car almost rammed into it.
A taxiway is a path for aircraft that connects a runway with another area of an airport.
Sources close to the incident said the vehicle, reportedly belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service, was being driven by one of its officers when the incident occurred.
The angry pilot was said to have immediately called the Lagos airport control tower to report the incident.
NAMA officials at the control tower subsequently alerted FAAN’s airside personnel who swiftly went after the driver.
A FAAN source close to the incident said, “The pilot of Dana Air flight 0371 complained angrily about a military vehicle that drove dangerously past his nose, forcing him to apply brakes suddenly. The NAMA officials in the control tower sighted the vehicle and instructed FAAN airside personnel to apprehend the team immediately.
“The vehicle was apprehended by MM123. It was reported to the control tower that it was a Customs vehicle. They were immediately taken to AVSEC for further questioning. The Dana plane was later airborne at 11:27am. The name of the Customs driver who was apprehended by MM123 is Wilfed .T. with ODC number 36789.”
Officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confirmed the incident on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter.
Also, the General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrieta Yakubu, confirmed the development but said the agency had since improved security at the airside of the airport after the incident.