Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday, swing into action by investigation the circumstances that forced a helicopter belonging to Tropical Arctic Logistics Limited to initiate an unscheduled diversion and land on the Lagos–Benin Expressway around Ore, in Ondo State.
Its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, disclosed this in a statement.
The NCAA said its investigation was sequel to a video, which had gone viral on social media.
NCAA said the pilot of the chopper was compelled to land between Benin and Ore in an unscheduled diversion to pick up someone.
The statement reads :“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is fully aware of the viral video of the Helicopter that landed on the highway.
“Initial reports indicate that the Helicopter is owned by Tropical Arctic Logistics Ltd. With registration number 5N – BVQ and aircraft type AW139.
“The Pilot was compelled to land between Benin and Ore in an unscheduled diversion to pick up someone.
“NCAA has commenced full-scale investigation to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the unscheduled diversion.
As soon as the investigation is concluded, the outcome will be made public.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is yet to confirm if the pilot got clearance to land on the highway.
The development, has however, sparked a huge debate in the sector.
Speaking on the development, industry critic and security expert, Group Captain John Ojikutu ( rtd) said only NAMA could say if the chopper got clearance to land or not.
Ojikutu said : “This incident happened on the busy express road in a country supposedly to have lifted or rescued a very important person out of a dangerous area.
“It appears to me that nobody is looking at the security implications in the midst of insecurity.
Not even the NCAA and NAMA have come out whether the chopper was duly cleared. This is is very dangerous trend that needs immediate investigation.”
Also speaking, former general secretary of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Olayinka Abioye said the controversy surrounding the chopper was becoming clearer.
According to him, “a billionaire gentleman hired the chopper to enable him fast track his journey. Appropriate clearance was sought by the company and there was no issue. In the course of the airlift, the man saw someone who knew him or vice-versa and asked the lady to join him on the flight.