The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority says that in line with standards and international best practices, it has commenced an investigation into the Air Peace’s oxygen mask incident in the airline’s Lagos-Enugu service on Friday.
An Air Peace Enugu-bound flight had on Friday lost cabin pressure mid-air, necessitating the release of oxygen masks for passengers.
According to the NCAA, the investigation will be thorough and will include the review of the videos making the rounds in the social media, and will be conducted in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015.
The regulator stated that at the conclusion of the investigation, the recommendations would be fully implemented.
In a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, the NCAA said passengers should be assured that all aircraft operating in Nigeria were fit to fly.
“Our ramp inspections have been strengthened accordingly with the seasonal increase in the volume of passengers. All operating airlines are, therefore, warned to observe the standard and recommended practices as any infractions will be treated in line with the provision of the regulations,” the NCAA said.
Meanwhile, Air Peace has dismissed reports alleging that one of its aircraft almost crashed on the Lagos-Enugu route on Friday.
The airline’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah, on Monday, said the aircraft experienced a change in cabin pressure en-route to Enugu and its flight crew did the normal technical manoeuvre by descending to a level comfortable enough for passengers on board.
He said the insinuations that the aircraft involved in the incident might not have been properly maintained was false, adding that the aircraft secured a renewal of its certificate of airworthiness on December 10 having concluded a c-check in September.
Iwarah explained that the change in cabin pressure was a common occurrence in aviation across the world, including Europe and America.
He said, “Where there is a change in cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will automatically drop from the panel for use by passengers on board the aircraft. This exactly was what happened on Friday. During safety briefings, passengers are advised to pull on the mask to trigger the flow of oxygen.
“The flow of oxygen is expected to last about 12 minutes within which the flight crew would descend to a comfortable altitude, usually below 10, 000 feet above sea level. Change in cabin pressure is a common occurrence in aviation across the world, including the UK and America.
“While it is quite expected and understandable that passengers would panic on the occurrence of incidents such as a change in cabin pressure, the claims of a near-crash were a regrettable misrepresentation of facts which really should not be. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused our loyal customers as a result of the incident and wish to reassure them that we place a huge premium on the lives and will never do anything to put them in harm’s way.”