The Flight Dispatcher Association of Nigeria, FLIDAN, has explained that the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA2, Control Tower granted the request for the United Nigeria Flight NUA 0504 to Asaba against legal flight plan.
United Nigeria Flight NUA 0504, operating from Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA2 in Lagos en route Abuja, had temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport, in Delta State on November 26, 2023.
According to the umbrella body of Flight Dispatchers in Nigeria, in a statement issued yesterday, signed by its Secretary General, Victoria Adegbe, the Tower granted the request against the legal flight plan submitted by the Flight Dispatcher
It maintained that the Flight Dispatcher followed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations Part 8-Operations by filing a flight plan with the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), which was transmitted to the Control Tower.
Details of the flight as stated by FLIDAN are as follows: “Departure – Lagos; Destination – Abuja; First Alternate – Enugu; Second Alternate – Port Harcourt; Time of flight – 13:00; Flight Duration – 55mins; Endurance – 6 hours.”
Emphasising that the weather folder given showed Abuja weather was okay, FLIDAN also noted that the Pilot called the Air Traffic Control (Tower) for clearance to depart to Asaba.
“Both the Pilot and the ATC seem not to follow what was filed, which by implication, meant that they disregarded “Operational Control” of the Flight Dispatcher, which empowers a 50% Joint and Equal Responsibility of the safety of the flight to the Flight Dispatcher.
“The Airlines’ Operational Control, which allowed a pilot to generate his own Operational Flight Plan, OFP, thereby taking full responsibility of the Dispatch Release, is an outright breach of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, NCAR Part 8.”