By Salisu Sani-Idris
Abuja: Aviation Stakeholders under the auspices of Vanguard for the Safety of Air Travellers (VAFAT) on Tuesday advised airline operators to stick to operational guidelines and avoid flying during bad weather to ensure the safety of lives of air travellers.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Magnus Mezie-Obi and Ms Zainab Abdulmumuni, National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary respectively, in Abuja.
The group said the major concern of any traveller, especially through the air, was safety, how to take off and land safely.
The group urged airline operators to continue to have passenger safety as topmost priority at all times.
The group also urged travellers to desist from mounting undue pressure and physical abuse on pilots and crew, to ensure that they fly with sound minds which was necessary for passengers’ safety.
“It has come to the knowledge of VATAT, that some passengers have formed the habit of mounting undue pressure on pilots and crew members to fly.
“Even when they are duly informed that there is bad weather and that the planes have not been cleared by authorities to take off.
” We view this as the greatest act of irresponsibility, wickedness and lack of respect for human lives.
“All over the world, the major concern of any traveller is safety. In the case of air travellers, time to take off and time to land is the most crucial moment.
” Both for pilots, crew members and especially for passengers who expect that they will be taken safely to their destination.
“Air travel, though fast and pleasurable, is the most delicate means of movement for man. This is because while on air, any slightest infraction can lead to disaster of unimaginable losses,’’ the group said.
The group, therefore, commended the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika and the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the current health of the nation’s aviation industry and airspace.
” We wish to commend the Minister of Aviation for standing shoulder to shoulder with other International Civil Aviation Regulatory Authorities which has resulted in Nigerian airlines operators getting fair deals in the global industry.
“We also commend the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for insisting that airlines operate in line with strict guidelines especially in terms of age, health and condition of planes and pilots experience.
” And sound mind, adherence to flight rules in terms of weather, bird strikes, among others.” (Flowerbudnews)