Dana Air has been flying with unhealthy status, we’ll audit all local airlines – Keyamo

Adebisi Aikulola
Adebisi Aikulola
Dana Air

Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, says Dana Airline has been flying with an unhealthy status for a while now.

Speaking during an interview on Channels television on Thursday, Keyamo said an audit report carried out under his predecessor confirmed the airline’s unhealthy status.

He said the internal reports, which were done two years ago, showed that Dana Air was unfit to fly, adding that the consistent incidents experienced by the airline made him call for a suspension.

Replying to the criticisms that trailed the suspension, Keyamo said he never wrote to the airline but instructed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to do so.

“Before I came into office, I am sure you heard consistent incidents involving perhaps Dana Airline, to mention a few of them. I am sure you heard that, at a point, on approach to the runway, the door flew open,” the minister said.

“I am sure you know that popular incident. Who are the engineers that are supposed to look at this? Who are the engineers that are supposed to check for the safety of the aircraft and its parts?

“There are also incidents involving one or two of its aircraft at different times, consistent with. Of course, after the fatal crash of the Dana, there was another time that killed Nigerians.

“There were internal reports before I came in under my predecessor about a series of infractions by Dana Air and the conclusion was that they were not healthy enough to fly, but they went into the skies after such a report. What they did, how they did it before they told them to start flying again, we don’t know.

“While we argue back and forth about who has power and who doesn’t have power, the point is that the flying public is at risk, and if any tragic incident happens, it is the minister that would be called to resign. Nigerians will not spare the minister.

“For me, the last thing I want to happen to me as minister of aviation is to have blood on my hands. I mean the blood of innocent Nigerians as a result of either the negligence, deep complicity or corruption of those who are supposed to be regulators of the aviation industry.

“As minister, my job is to supervise them and ensure that they carry out their duties. My duty is not to regulate. For those quoting the law, they should know that I know the law more than them.”


Speaking on the irregularities in the aviation sector, Keyamo said “there is deep complicity within the system”, stressing that the cleansing process would start and continue until they were resolved.

The minister said if the aircraft in the country’s aviation sector are not properly checked, then there will be “flying coffins” in the air.

He said that beyond the suspension of Dana Air, the NCAA would carry out a comprehensive audit of all local airlines in the country to guarantee the safety of passengers and the health of the civil aviation industry.

On April 24, Keyamo directed the NCAA to suspend the operations of Dana Air after one of its aircraft veered off the Lagos airport runway on April 23.

Reacting to the suspension, the Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative (ART) said it was unlawful for the minister to direct the NCAA to suspend an airline, urging the minister to respect the autonomy of the regulator.

Describing the directive as “external interference”, the aviation group advised the minister to focus his efforts on policy issues that positively impact the airline industry.

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