No fewer than 24 emergency air returns occurred in the country between January 2018 and October 2022, The PUNCH has learnt.
Majority of the reasons for the emergency returns were attributed to engine failure, bird strikes, bad weather and others.
Findings by The PUNCH indicated that air returns were among the safety measures applied on airborne flights to avert serious disasters from occurring.
A breakdown showed that Air Peace recorded the highest emergency air return during this period with a total of nine, followed by Arik air, Azman air and Max Air which recorded three each. However, Aero Contractors and Dana had two air returns each.
A further breakdown of the incidents showed that Delta Air recorded only one and Royal Air Maroc had one.
Analysis by our correspondent revealed that in 2022, a total of six emergency air returns were recorded, with Air peace recording two; Dana Air, two; while Max Air and Arik Air reported one each.
In 2021, two incidents occurred, with Max Air and Aero contractors recording one emergency air return each.
A total of nine emergency air returns occurred in 2019, with Air peace recording three air returns as well as Azman Air, while Max Air, Arik Air and Royal Air Maroc recorded one respectively.
A further breakdown revealed that in 2018, a total of six air return cases were recorded, but Air peace had the highest with three, followed by Arik Air, Delta Air and Aero Contractors recording one each.
On February 15, 2018, at least five passengers on board Delta Air sustained injuries. The Atlanta-bound flight made an air return less than an hour after it took off due to engine fault.
The President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria, Alex Nwuba, said it was difficult to avert mechanical issues when dealing with machines, noting that paying attention to what attracted the birds would help to reduce bird strikes.
“Bird strikes are an act of nature, but more can be done to make the environment less attractive to birds such as more cutting the grass, removing hiding places, animals and insects that attract birds, water that they seek to drink and finally deploying technology to scare and chase the birds away.”
Article first published on the Punch Website