17th August, 2010
In a desperate move to catch her flight, a National Youth Service Corps member was arrested by the police for crossing the Abuja Airport runway on a commercial motorcycle.
The motorcyclist was also apprehended for taking the corps member directly to the plane like a VIP, P.M.NEWS has learnt.
An airport source who witnessed the bizarre incident, told our correspondent that the female corps member, who bought a non-refundable on-line ticket from a Lagos-based local airline, left her residence 15 minutes to departure time, hired a motorcycle for N700 and successfully crossed the runway at full speed. She was heading to Lagos.
â€œTo our astonishment, they were only arrested after successfully crossing the runway,â€ the source said.
â€œAfter she was arrested, she said that she could not afford to buy another ticket since the one she was using was not refundable. She said that she had to attempt all she could and opted for okada and paid N700. The okada man told her he knew a short-cut and in less than ten minutes, they would be right where planes were parked,â€ the source disclosed.
The incident happened at a time no plane was neither landing nor taking off, the source added.
The source said that the incident, which could have led to confusion, happened because the Abuja Airport is not fully fenced as against safety conditions by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), that all airports must be fully fenced.
Few years ago, some cows successfully crossed the runway at the Port Harcourt International Airport and not long ago, a car crossed the runway and rammed into a plane at the Calabar Airport.
Such incidents abound and many are not reported, P.M.NEWS has learnt.
The Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze, told journalists on Thursday at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, Kaduna State, that Nigerian airports will soon be fenced and new designs will be unveiled to catch up with world class airports.