The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Smart Adeyemi yesterday urged the Federal Government to peg the age of aircraft in the fleet of airlines at between 15 and 20 years.
He called for the reactivation of emergency landing site for Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos .
He said the government should also ensure that all airports have emergency landing sites.
Adeyemi, who spoke with reporters in Abuja , said the nation must avert a repeat of last Sunday’s Dana Air crash.
The senator said: "A week after the crash in Lagos , I could still not come to terms with the reality of losing 153 people; it is really unfortunate. The time has come for us as a nation to be proactive in the aviation sector.
"We should peg the age of aircraft to be used in Nigeria at between 15 and 20 years. Any aircraft that is older than 20 years should not be allowed for commercial operations in Nigeria
"We also do not have the capacity to locally maintain regular checks on aircraft operating in the country. We need to look inward on this aspect.
"In Nigeria , airlines cut corners because C-checks are not readily available. I have personally seen aircraft with worn out tires which could easily slip off while landing and I called the attention of operators to it."
Adeyemi recommended the use of propeller engines aircraft.
He added: "I feel that a nation like Nigeria should go for more of propeller engines which are cost effective. The Dana air crash should be a watershed in Nigeria’s aviation sector and we should maintain a higher regulatory standard more than the Western nations where regular checks can easily be done," the Senator said.
The senator said if not for the use of propeller engines aircraft, the story of the crash of ThisDay editors in Borno in 2005 would have been different.
He called for the reactivation of emergency landing site for Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos
He said: "Every airport is supposed to have an open field which can be used for emergency landing. We understand that the one meant for Lagos Airport is located in a place called Matogun Road in Ogun State but close to the border between Lagos and Ogun states and that it is now overgrown with weeds. The Minister should investigate this, because if the Pilot had located that place, we would have saved lives."