Dive into the details behind FAAN’s recent decision to divert Kano-bound flights to Lagos due to a lighting system failure at MAKIA.
In the vibrant world of aviation, circumstances often require immediate action and swift decision-making.
As we delve deeper, we’ll understand why the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) found it necessary to divert Kano-bound flights to Lagos last weekend.
An Unexpected Malfunction at MAKIA
In a recent statement, Mr. Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, FAAN’s Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, shed light on the situation.
The diversion of flights was necessitated by unserviceable airfield lighting at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano.
The Critical Time of Discovery
On July 15, 2023, around 4 PM local time, a routine maintenance check unveiled an unexpected issue.
The lighting system for runway 06/24, which had recently received new cables, failed to power up.
Picture trying to find your way home on a pitch-black night with no streetlights; that was the predicament facing the airfield maintenance team.
Diving Deep into the Fault Finding
Unfazed, the team kicked off their fault-finding procedures along the newly laid cable route.
The goal was clear – identify the problem and restore power to the critical airfield lighting circuit.
It’s akin to detectives hunting for clues in a complex investigation, isn’t it?
An Unanticipated Setback
What the team discovered was concerning.
The incident had affected the entire runway circuit, resulting in the failure of key components such as the Runway 06/24 edge light, taxiway alpha edge light, PAPI, and signage.
The Inevitable Blackout
As evening fell and the clock ticked towards 7 PM, the issue persisted.
The fault had yet to be isolated, and the power supply to the runway couldn’t be restored.
The runway was plunged into darkness, jeopardizing night operations at the airport.
The Strategic Diversion to Lagos
Faced with this hurdle, FAAN had to make a tough call to keep the wheels of aviation turning.
The decision was made to divert incoming flights to alternate airports nationwide, including the bustling Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.
The Official Closure Notice
By 11 PM, despite tireless efforts, power supply restoration remained elusive.
The Operations Department initiated a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) action, indicating the closure of Runway 06/24 from 11 PM on July 15 to 7 AM the following day.
The Aftermath: Apology and Resumption of Operations
FAAN expressed regret for any inconvenience caused by the diversion of the two Kano-bound aircraft to Lagos. The issue, however, was addressed promptly.
By Sunday, fresh cables had been installed, and MAKIA was once again ready for night operations.
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Why were the Kano-bound flights diverted to Lagos?
The flights were rerouted due to a failure in the airfield lighting at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), which rendered it unsafe for nighttime operations.
What caused the failure of the airfield lighting at MAKIA?
The failure was due to an unidentified fault that occurred after the replacement of old airfield cables with new ones at runway 06/24.
How did FAAN respond to the failure of the lighting system at MAKIA?
FAAN promptly initiated a fault-finding procedure along the cable route to identify the problem and restore power.
Were any other airports affected by this diversion?
Yes, other alternate airports nationwide received diverted flights, including the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.
Have operations at MAKIA resumed since the incident?
Yes, operations at MAKIA have since resumed after new cables were installed on the Sunday following the incident.