Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has commenced a full-scale investigation into the wanton security breach that occurred on Friday, 3rd August 2018, at the Sultan Abubakar Sadiq 111 Airport, Sokoto.

The Authority said it was in receipt of reports of a huge crowd that flagrantly broke all security rules and gained unauthorised access to the safety critical areas of the airport including its Runway, Taxiway and Apron.

According to a statement issued by the image maker of the NCAA yesterday, Sam Adurogboye: “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) Part 17.48.3(c), stipulates that “access by persons and vehicles to restricted areas, enhanced security restricted areas and sterile areas is restricted only to persons who have a clear need for such access by virtue of their duties.

“In addition, the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), 6.3.1. states “in accordance with the appropriate legislation, no person to whom the legislation applies, shall enter or remain in a Restricted Area, Enhanced Security Restricted Area, or tenant restricted area unless that person has in his or her possession a Restricted Area or Tenant Restricted Area Permit in respect of that restricted area or Tenant Restricted Area and complies with all conditions of issuance of the Permit.”

While declaring that it will not tolerate the reoccurrence of any such safety and security violations at any of the nation’s airports, the regulatory body declared: “Therefore, in view of the anticipated increase in aviation activities, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), as well as other State and Private Aerodrome Operators, are hereby directed to beef up safety and security systems at their airports.

Similarly, the general public is hereby warned to desist from the unlawful acts as NCAA will not hesitate to impose severe sanctions on any person, group of persons or organisations found culpable. The Regulatory Authority will continue to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference at all the nation’s airports.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies will continue to work together to ensure that all our airports are safe and secure for airline operations.”

An online medium had last Friday reported how members of the ruling party loyalists of a former governor of the state who had besieged the airport in a bid to welcome him into the state, violated the airport rules against restriction of movement to sterile areas.

Earlier, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had condemned in absolute terms, the invasion of the runway of Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto by loyalists of some politicians who broke through the airport fence and invaded the airport in a bid to receive their political masters.

According to FAAN, the unfortunate incident, which occurred on Friday, August 3, 2018, was a gross violation of the security and safety arrangements at the airport, as thousands of political loyalists violently accessed restricted areas at the airport, breaking down the airport fence in the process and resisting all security machinery in place.

The authority in a statement issued by its General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mrs Henriette Yakubu declared: “However, our team of aviation security officers were able to curtail the situation and normalcy was restored at the airport. The airport environment is a highly regulated environment and should be seen as such.

“As the 2019 general election is drawing closer, the Authority will like to advise the general public, especially politicians and their supporters to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations at the airports, as we will not compromise security and safety at our airports for any reason.”