Aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines which crashed and killed 157 passengers on Sunday, the Federal Government today banned the use of Boeing 737 Max 8 by any airline operator in Nigeria airspace.
Recalled that ET Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft crashed on Sunday six minutes after take-off in Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board including two Nigerians.
Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council(FEC), meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator, Hadi Sirika, stated that such plane would not be allowed into Nigeria until the cause of the plane crash is determined.
“Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, that has been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane. “The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, whose mandate it is to issue advisory, has already issued advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Messers Boeing.
“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out. So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out. China, Ethiopia suspend use of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft after crash.”
On Air Peace orders, he said, “Regarding Air Peace and Arik orders, whether those orders were confirmed or intent, it is to our knowledge in the ministry that they won’t be in the country until the next two years or so. And this is enough period to sort out whatever problem it is with that plane. The world of aviation will not be sleeping just as we in Nigeria will not be sleeping. It is normal standard practice that once a particular aircraft type is involved in accident back to back, it is withdrawn from the market to see if there is something they are doing wrong.”
Speaking further, he stated that if there is confirmation that a particular problem like landing gear, they will issue an instruction to ground such plane worldwide until the problem is fix.
According to him,”This case is not different. We pray for the souls of the departed and pray that the industry will continue to be safe and secure. We promise you that we are alive to our own responsibility which is to secure lives and property as a government.”