34 passengers on a charter flight with Aero Contractors arriving at Nigeria’s Bauchi State International Airport from Abuja last Saturday used a builder’s ladder instead of airstairs to exit their chartered Boeing 737-500. (registration 5N-BLG).
The video has gone viral.
The Nigerian government launched an investigation concerned that the passengers were ‘at high risk’ of serious injury. The result was a fine of several millions of Naira (10s of thousands of dollars) for allowing the use of unauthorised equipment , imposed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Aero Contractors and the captain of flight NG-136. The NCAA noted that the use of the ladder in a non-emergency situation is contrary to its approved aircraft handling manual.
Aero Contractors is a rarity in Africa: a carrier that has been operating for over 50 years. The company has 15 aircraft which service ten destinations. It also has helicopters which it uses to service the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The Nigerian government now have a 60 percent share and there have been rumours the carrier may form the nucleus of a new national carrier.
Just bring your own ladder.