Until November 2022, the domestic runway at Lagos International Airport (LOS) closed as the sun went down each evening. A new lighting system was installed to extend the runways operating hours.

But the best-laid plans at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (to give its official name) were pulled up, quite literally, by thieves. 

During a period of maintenance which closed the runway, Nigerian newspaper Punch reported, thieves gained access to the restricted area and made off with the high-tech precision approach path indicator lights. Unconfirmed reports suggested airport employees were part of the group who took the equipment. 

Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the airport’s director of public affairs, confirmed a police operation to make arrests and “recover what’s missing” has been launched. 

It is unclear when the theft took place or was discovered, although the BBC reported some domestic flights were diverted to the international runway – resulting in schedule disruptions and 4km taxis for the aircraft landing on the runway far from their designated terminal.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria did not respond to Airport Technology’s request for comment. 

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