GCCA: No cause for panic after dramatic blaze

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A dramatic blaze, which tore through the outside bushes of the Banjul International Airport on Sunday morning, sending thick black smoke into the air, has been brought under control and officials of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have assured the people that there is no cause for panic.

Images from the scene have been making rounds on social media these past days and some even reported that the inferno was in fact within the premises of the Banjul International Airport.

In an interview with The Point in his office in Yundum, Lamin Dibba, Public Relations Manager of GCAA confirmed that the Sunday fire incident occurred outside the Banjul International Airport, contrary to the widely held rumors circulating on social media.

The cause of the fire, he said, still remains a mystery, but what is clear is that the fire started outside the perimeter fence at the eastern side of the airport close to the old Nasa base.

“It started far in the bushes outside the airport’s perimeter. We have the control belt of the internal perimeter fence and the outside is where human activities are taking place,” he stated.

Dibba further indicated that human activities around the airport are one of the foremost problems of the airport and that the management of the airport on several occasions has discussed it with relevant authorities but all to no avail.       

Looking at the topography of the area at the airport, he said, the management always do control burning at the end of raining and dry seasons.

PRO Dibba reiterated that the fire incident did not affect the airport, nor did it hinder its operations.

Just like other airports, he added that the Banjul International Airport has a fire service station and ‘luckily for GCAA we have one of the best airports in sub region. Few years ago government procured latest state-of-the-art fire service equipment that GCAA is using and the fire brigade staff at the airport is always on alert.’

He called on the communities and people living around the airport to be very careful, as they look for their livelihood around the airport to avoid such occurrence in future.

Author: Yunus S. Saliu