Tropical Arctic Logistics Limited (TAL), a helicopter services operating company on Thursday explained why it landed in the middle of a huge traffic jam along Benin-Ore road at the weekend. It said it was called to pick up a sick person who needed urgent medical attention.
Recall that a video of the incident that happened on Sunday was posted on social media and it generated a lot of reactions with many people condemning the action describing it as a show off by a billionaire believed to have called the helicopter to escape the five hour traffic jam.
But four days after the incident, the helicopter operator said it got approval and clearance from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for the operation which was conducted in conjunction with Flying Doctors to save a life.
Speaking on behalf of TAL at its headquarters in Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the Chief Operating Officer(COO), Engineer Femi Adeniji said the company was yet to receive any memo from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) concerning the flight.
Adeniji, who said the company was surprised at the outrage the supposed commendable exercise generated stated that the issue which was not peculiar to TAL was a practice already gaining global traction.
He said: “We wish to state that our mission for that flight was to save lives. We immediately swung into action and rushed to the site in record time to pick the individual who is currently recuperating in the hospital.
“We are a licensed logistics company to carry out medical evacuation operations and was engaged to air lift an individual who suffered a serious health challenge while caught in traffic and needed emergency evacuation on the day in question.
“The Benin – Ore road evacuation was conducted in close collaboration with security agencies, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Police worked assiduously in trying to clear the gridlock caused by the on going road construction. They directed us to a cleared portion of the road where the operation was handled free from any incident.”