Grounding Dana Airlines was a mistake – Stella Oduah, aviation minister

by Akan Ido

Minister for Aviation, Stella Oduah, yesterday admitted that the suspension of the flight operations of Dana Airlines immediately after the June 3 crash was in error.

She said this while answering questions on a breakfast programme on ChannelsTV on the rationale behind the lifting of the suspension earlier placed on the operations of the said airline.

The minister of aviation reportedly said the global best practice in such cases was to isolate the particular aircraft involved in an accident while proceeding with thorough investigations into the cause of the crash.

She said:

“A firm cannot be indicted until the results of investigation are released.

“Rather than indict it (Dana Airline), the result clearly showed that the airline is one of the best in the country today.

“Dana’s manuals, log book and administrative policies are all in compliance with the NCAA rules and regulations. We’re satisfied that thorough investigation was carried out and that was why we said they can go back to work.”

The FG had suspended Dana’s license on June 5, 2012, two days after its Abuja-Lagos flight 0992 crashed into residential and commercial buildings in Iju-Ishaga, on the outskirts of Lagos, killing 153 passengers and crew on board.

The suspended license was restored by the FG earlier in the week sparking negative reactions from the public.

A statement announcing the lifting of suspension said the government took the decision because it was satisfied with the air-worthiness of Dana after “a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit of the airline”.

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