An Air Peace flight bound for Lagos from Port Harcourt on Saturday made an air return some minutes after taking off, following a fire alarm aboard the flight.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), General Manager, Public Relations, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, confirmed the incident, saying an alarm was raised about fire in the cabin which forced the pilot to make the air return in order to to check the situation.
Mr. Sam Adurogboye denied reports that the air craft crash landed, adding that there was no panic as the pilot properly briefed the passengers before landing safely.
He explained that an air return is a precautionary flight safety procedure that must be adopted in the event of a snag, and that the pilot acted according to Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
The passengers were reported to have been later provided with another aircraft to convey them to Lagos.
Meanwhile the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema has released a statement following the incident, explaining that the fire alarm was false, and praised his team for their swift and efficient response.
Giving details on the incident, Onyeama narrated that the Captain was taxing to go and park at the apron after landing, the tower informed him that there was smoke from the under belly of the aircraft thereby making the pilot to deploy the slides and all six doors for the passengers to be evacuated.
Onyeama said the fire fighters who were called by the tower did not see any smoke nor fire, likewise passengers, as the engineers, the NCAA and other agencies witnessed that there was no smoke nor fire.
Concluding that it was a false fire alarm that led to the entire situation but Air Peace crew responded professionally in accordance with the books.
He further added that to prove the airworthiness of the fleet and that particular aircraft, the aircraft was cleared by the regulators to depart for Lagos less than an hour later.
Onyeama who said it served no one no good to engage in sensational journalism without cross-checking facts as they have proved to the world that the airline is very capable of handling very efficiently emergency situations if they ever occur even though this one turned out to be a false alarm.