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Thieves Somehow Manage to Steal Crucial Runway Lighting at Lagos Airport in Nigeria

Thieves Somehow Manage to Steal Crucial Runway Lighting at Lagos Airport in Nigeria

A group of thieves have somehow managed to steal runway lighting from one of two runways at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. The theft means that the runway can no longer be used for takeoff and landing during the hours of darkness or in low visibility conditions.

Local media report that the theft affected a specialist lighting system, which was only recently installed on runways 18L/36R, which serves the domestic terminal at Lagos Airport.

The airport has two offset parallel runways – one mainly serves the international terminal, and the other mainly serves the domestic terminal due to its proximity.

Until November 2022, however, during the hours of darkness, domestic flights had to land on the runway normally reserved for international services because the domestic runway didn’t have a suitable lighting system installed.

After landing on the international runway, planes operating domestic flights were then forced to loop back on themselves and taxi for 4km, which caused delays and disruption.

It remains unclear exactly when the theft took place, but airport authorities revealed what had happened as several officials were suspended over the incident. Police believe the theft was an inside job involving airport workers who had carried out the theft while the runway was closed for maintenance.

A spokesperson for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said the organisation would “block all loopholes to prevent [a] future occurrence”. No arrests have yet been made.

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