Aviation Expert Warns of Waterlogged Runway Hazards at Lagos Airport

Captain Ado Sanusi, the Managing Director of Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited, has raised serious concerns about the waterlogged condition of the 18L/36R runway for domestic operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. Sanusi, a former Chief Executive of Nigerian Airspace Management, revealed this alarming situation in a recent interview with Channels Television.

The aviation expert’s warning comes in the wake of two recent incidents where aircraft skidded off the runway at the Lagos airport. Just three days ago, an XEJet Airlines flight from Abuja experienced a runway excursion upon landing on runway 18L at MMA, Ikeja. In April 2024, a similar incident occurred when a Dana Air aircraft with 83 passengers on board, registered as 5N-BKI, skidded off the runway while arriving from Abuja. While no lives were lost in these incidents, they have sparked grave safety concerns within Nigeria’s aviation sector.

According to Sanusi, the waterlogged runway issue has persisted for years without an effective resolution. He emphasized the need for proper resurfacing and the creation of a crest to facilitate efficient water drainage from the runway.

“I have landed a thousand times at the airport in Lagos. As a pilot, even when I was a young pilot, that 18L (domestic runway) is waterlogged,” Sanusi stated. “Have we done anything about it? NO. Since when I was flying, we have said, even when I was in public service, that when we are resurfacing the runway, we should make it a crest so that water can drain off. I don’t know whether that has been done yet.”

Sanusi’s warnings underscore the urgent need for airport authorities to address the waterlogged runway conditions at the Murtala Muhammed Airport to ensure the safety of air travelers and prevent potential accidents.