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For the second time in 19 months, FG grounds Dana Air operations

The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has suspended Dana Airline operations. The suspension is said to be due to concerns surrounding the safety and financial viability of the airline.

On Tuesday, one of the airline’s plane with registration number 5N BKI skidded off the runway at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. No one was hurt, as the 83 passengers and crew escaped.

It may be recalled that the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, on Wednesday 20, July 2022, had issued a statement freezing Dana Air’s Transport Operating Licence, and Air Operator Certificate sequel to the “air return” incident involving one of its aircraft at the Abuja Airport.

The suspension was made pursuant to Sections 3a, 3b and 4 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs), 2015.

The NCAA said the action followed an economic health audit and investigation of the airline’s flight operations.

The July 2022 suspension was the third time the aviation sector regulator had indefinitely suspended the operations of Dana Airlines, as the carrier has had the unfortunate record of being accident-prone in recent history.

Today’s indefinite suspension marks the fifth time that Dana Air would be getting the big axe.

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Concerning the latest sanction as contained in a memo signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, and made available to journalists on Wednesday in Lagos, Keyamo said that the ministry’s attention had been drawn to recent incidents of both safety and financial viability of the airline’s operations.

“In light of these incidents and with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travelers, the minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline’s fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted.

“This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations.

“The recent incidents have underscored the urgency of this matter, and it is imperative that swift and decisive action be taken to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders involved.

“I trust in your expertise and diligence in carrying out this audit thoroughly and expeditiously. Please, keep me informed of the progress and any significant findings throughout this process,” Keyamo said.

The minister praised NCAA for its dedication to upholding the highest standards of aviation safety.
NAN reports that a Dana MD aircraft, with registration number 5N BKI had, at about 9.45 a.m. on Tuesday, veered off the runway of the local wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja.
All the 83 passengers and six crew members were, however, disembarked unhurt.

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Gracie Brown
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