…Lands in Sudan
By AKEEB ALARAPE A
Kabo aircraft conveying Nigerian pilgrims had to make a forced landing in Sudan capital, Khartoum on Wednesday after being denied entry into Saudi Arabia. The aircraft with Reg. No. N9-1143, was conveying pilgrims from Kaduna State but denied landing by the authorities of the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, due to communication lapses as regards its condition.
It was gathered that the Saudi aviation authorities denied landing permit to the aircraft after it had entered its (Saudi) airspace. The refusal forced the pilot to make a detour to neighbouring Khartoum Airport to enable Saudi and Nigerian aviation authorities to resolve the issue of the aircraft’s airworthiness.
Daily Sun gathered that a routine maintenance check had been conducted on the aircraft and certified airworthy by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before it left Nigeria in the wee hours of Wednesday. But the information on the routine check was said not to have not reached the Saudi aviation authorities as at the time the aircraft entered the Saudi airspace.
Head of Media, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mallam Uba Mana, confirmed the incident but said the aircraft, which had 523 pilgrims on board, had since landed at the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, late afternoon of Wednesday. He said the incident had nothing to do with the ongoing row over male guides to female pilgrims or related to technical problem but due to communication lapses.