Aviation security arrests runway intruder at Lagos Airport
Aviation Security (AVSEC) at the Lagos Airport yesterday arrested a runway intruder just as he attempted boarding a taxing Air Peace airline flight departing for Owerri.
The intruder, a young man of about 25 years, was sighted around the airfield by AVSEC personnel manning the Charlie One link/holding area.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in a statement, said the AVSEC personnel on static guard duties at the area “rushed to stop the intruder from further movement towards the aircraft, with registration number (CS-TQU) and a struggle ensued”.
All efforts to stop the intruder by the unarmed AVSEC personnel failed as the intruder continued to resist arrest.
“While the struggle was ongoing, the AVSEC personnel called for reinforcement and alerted the pilot of CS-TQU of the intrusion, and to delay the aircraft to allow for a successful apprehension of the intruder.
“The intruder was eventually apprehended by the AVSEC personnel with the support of the reinforcement and has been taken into custody for investigations.
“The aircraft was also advised to return to base for necessary safety/ security inspections in line with standard procedure. Subsequently, the aircraft departed Lagos at 10:16, with 171 passengers, and 6 crew,” the statement read in part.
The Managing Director (MD) of FAAN in company of the Directors of Aviation Security Services, and Airport operations, the Regional General Manager and the Airport Chief of Security (MMA) inspected the site of the incident and discussed with the Captain of the aircraft, who commended the action of the Aviation Security team.
Confirming the incident, the Corporate Communication the of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, said the culprit emerged from the bush and tried to gain access into the aircraft before he was apprehended by the Aviation Security.
According to Olisa: ”This morning at 9:10 a.m. an Owerri-bound Air Peace aircraft was taxing towards the threshold for take-off, when a man, in his twenties, emerged from the bush along the runway, and tried to gain access to the aircraft through the wheel-well.”
“There was a private jet behind the aircraft. The pilot in command of the private jet informed the Air Peace pilot in command that a young man obviously in his twenties, was trying to force his way into the aircraft.
”The security wing of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, was alerted and the man was accosted and whisked away. He is currently in the regulator’s custody. When interrogated on why he took the action, the man stated that he thought the aircraft was headed overseas.
“We commend FAAN for its timely intervention. The regulator is already investigating the incident.”