Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, has directed immediate investigation into the use of unauthorized equipment by Aero Contractors Airlines charter flight to Bauchi Airport on Saturday.
The order is contained in a statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs Unit of the ministry on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement said that several reports received by the minister indicated that the airline used a ladder to disembark passengers from a Boeing 737 aircraft at the airport.
According to the minister, the act is inconsistent with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).
The investigation, according to the statement, will determine the immediate and remote causes of the incident.
It added that the investigation was with a view to developing and implementing measures that would prevent a reccurrence of the unsafe and unacceptable procedure that exposed passengers to high risk.
The statement said that if the airline was found culpable, the full weight of sanctions within extant laws and regulations would be applied on it.
"The Honourable Minister assures the travelling public that the Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), will ensure strict adherence to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations as well as ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices by all operators.
"Sirika further states that the ministry will not shirk in its responsibility to ensure a safe and secure air transport services which he views as sacrosanct," the statement said. (NAN)