The federal government has mandated that a Nigerian pilot must be seated on the jump seat with the foreign pilot in every wet-leased aircraft entering Nigeria as a result of the recent incident involving United Nigeria.
In order to facilitate communication between passengers and cabin crews on wet-leased aircraft, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo ordered that all members of the crew be Nigerians during a meeting with heads of aviation agencies and a media briefing on recent events in the industry.
When describing the Sunday incident, the minister said that it was evident from the transcript provided by the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) that the plane was going to Asaba rather than Abuja when it took off from Lagos.
He said that the issue with a wet-leased plane, in which the pilot and crew were all foreigners, was the real issue, not the weather in Abuja.
“They had no prior knowledge of the geography of Nigeria. According to the transcript, the pilot was repeatedly asked by the tower to “confirm again that you are going to Abuja and not Asaba.” No, Asaba, the pilot answered. The minister added, “The tower requested again before they took off, and they received the same response.”
He said that the government had requested that they speak with the dispatcher who sent the plane and that “where sanctions should apply, we should apply sanctions,” adding that the event was solely an internal administrative matter.