Lagos Airport Will Get Watchtowers Following Airplane Hitchhiker

Just a few days ago we wrote about a man who climbed onto the wing of a Boeing 737 just before it was going to take off. Complete with carry-on baggage, which he stored in the aircraft’s engine, the individual was looking to fly to Ghana, despite that particular flight heading to a domestic destination within Nigeria. Since then, the airport has made plans to install fences at the airports. In addition to this, there will be detection devices, CCTV cameras with infrared capacity, and possibly observation towers this year as well.

Lagos is the commercial center for the West African country of Nigeria. Photo: Flickr user Afromusing

“Suspected lunatic”

The footage taken and uploaded by a passenger is spectacular and jaw-dropping. Only 12 seconds long, the man can be seen climbing up on to the wing. Furthermore, you can hear the sounds of astonished passengers in the cabin.

A Twitter user who was on the flight writes:

“The guy approaches the plane with gloves and starts walking around and under the aircraft holding a bag which he dropped inside the engine.”

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the arrested man claimed that he wanted to go to Ghana, but did not say how he managed to gain access to the runway.

Poor security at Murtala Muhammed Airport

According to blog One Mile at a Time, Lagos Airport is actually known for already having had quite a few “incidents.” Last year Lagos Airport made the news when the story broke that robbers were commonly known to go into the cargo hold of planes.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says that it will be taking responsibility for the breach. Furthermore, the organization will take concrete action in order to assure travelers are safe and secure.

This is what FAAN had to say via Facebook:

Stating that the Authority takes full responsibility for the breach, Capt Yadudu noted that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Honourable Minister of State, Aviation has already assisted in the award of contracts for perimeter fences at the airports, including detection devices and CCTV cameras with infrared capacity…He added that plans are also underway to erect observation towers this year, so to enable proper monitor and coverage of the airport.

According to Wikipedia, Murtala Muhammed International Airport has seen substantial improvements in recent years. This includes the repair of “malfunctioning and non-operational infrastructures” including air conditioning and luggage belts. Furthermore, the entire airport has been cleaned, and many new restaurants and duty-free stores have opened. This is according to the Wikipedia article.

The airport is home to the following airlines:

Conclusion

Murtala Muhammed International Airport was first built in World War II as Ikeja Airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It’s shocking to hear that only now perimeter fences will be set up. That seems like it should be a standard feature at any airport or even airfield that hosts commercial/passenger traffic.

As Chinese investment and overall development begin to transform West Africa, it should be interesting to see if the airports like Murtala Muhammed will raise their standards. Furthermore, it is one thing to install new features and equipment – but maintenance and upkeep will be another big question mark.

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