The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has frowned at the attempted disruption of air operation and attack on airline officials that occurred at the Ibom International Airport, Uyo.
In a press release, Mr Fan Ndubouke, general manager public affairs NCAA said “incoming reports from our Consumer Protection Officers at the airport indicated an attempt by some passengers on Aero Flight AJ 158, a B 737 – 500 aircraft schedule service from Uyo – Abuja to disallow the aircraft from taking off if they were denied boarding.
According to Ndubouke, the flight was scheduled for 12.45 hours and in line with the company’s policy, Aero check -in staff were to close the counter at 12.05 hours. (40 minutes to departure) but added that at closure some passengers were still on the queue waiting to be checked – in while on discretion, the Aero staff continued to check – in 20 more passengers and closed the process.
He said at this point, some passengers who came late and were not allowed to be checked – in, realised they could miss the flight and they descended on the Aero staff at the airport and demanded that the flight must not leave without them.
Ndubouke warned that NCAA’s Passenger’ Bill of Rights which gave rights to assistance and compensation to passengers also clearly stated passenger obligations. “The major one is that passengers arrive at the airport for check-in at least two (2) hours prior to departure on domestic flights and four (4) hours for international flights”.
He added that passengers were expected to conduct themselves in a courteous manner and obey the directives of the flight crew warning that strict sanctions, including prosecution by courts of appropriate jurisdiction await unruly and discourteous passengers who manhandled airline and other airport officials.
The service eventually departed with 99 passengers and two infants on board.