Following alleged opening of cargo compartment of aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has beefed up security as it deployed more patrol vans to accompany arriving and departing aircraft.
Daily Trust reports that the authority has also equipped the patrol vans with dashboard camera to further carry out surveillance on aircraft.
The last incident involved a Boeing 737-700 aircraft belonging to Royal Air Maroc when the pilot discovered the cargo light was flickering suggesting that the baggage compartment was tampered with.
In all, FAAN dismissed the incidents.
This is just as an expert in aircraft engineering, who does not want to be named, said the flickering of aircraft cargo light could be a normal occurrence especially with Boeing 737 aircraft classics.
FAAN’s Regional Manager for South West and Airport Manager MMIA, Mrs. Victoria Shin-aba, said while FAAN believes the reported cases of invasion were not true, it has taken steps to fortify the airport.
She stated that apart from the joint patrol of the perimeter fence of the airport by both the military and police, it had also engaged the services of night guards to patrol the perimeter fence and the bushes around the airport especially the Shasha, Ejigbo and Isolo areas having boundaries with the MMIA.
She said, “We believe the issue of invasion is not happening but we want to prove it. The only way forward is to install a CCTV camera in all areas of the airside and the perimeter fencing. For a palliative, we are having dashboard camera on our patrol vans.”
Shin-aba decried encroachment on airport land by surrounding communities, saying, “We are battling with the communities around but then we try to make sure that we do it right, we have the military men on the airside that helps us; aside that we have night guards; apart from this escort we have guards that hide in the bushes, it is a layer of security with so many things”.
Meanwhile, the aircraft maintenance engineer said, “It is never an easy thing to open the cargo doors while the engine is running.”
The engineer with over 41 years of experience said the flickering of cargo light on an aircraft is normal as it goes and comes.
He said with the nature of aircraft, no intruder can tamper with the baggage compartment when the plane is on motion and taxing for take-off.