The lighter side of Flight International.

Rolling stones

Nigeria’s civil aviation authority has been forced to deny that it is planning to remove airfield lights at Kano airport to replace those for runway 18R at Lagos, which the regulator describes as “missing”.

Lagos was deprived of its system earlier in the year, through a bit of – quite literal – light-fingered thievery.

Director general of civil aviation Musa Nuhu insists the suggestion of transferring the lights at Kano to Lagos is just viral social media nonsense.

Lagos airport

Source: Shynebellz/Shutterstock

Lagos: missing lights

But the authority adds that it will leave “no stone unturned” to ensure flight operations safety in Nigeria.

Which is ironic because, it says, not long after the Lagos lights were nicked, a band of alleged wrong ’uns was caught turning over a fair number of stones during a bit of extracurricular excavation with the aim of pilfering cables at the same airport.

All that stone-turning was being done, the authority says, with the aid of “a digger, shovel and cutlass”. Dare we suggest that, to find buried treasure at an airport, you have to engage the automatic pirate?

Food for thought?

One of the most important functions of industry conferences is for various stakeholders to discuss potential solutions to the sector’s biggest challenges – but might the answers be found in the logistics of organising such events?

At the recent European Regions Airline Association General Assembly in Innsbruck, Air Serbia chief executive Jiri Marek suggested they might.

Referring to shortages of aircraft and engine spare parts, which are currently weighing heavily on airline operations around the world by reducing fleet availability, Marek joked of OEMs and their suppliers: “They sponsor the coffee breaks or cocktails [at the conference] and they have no problem delivering enough alcohol or food.

“So they should learn from that and make the same policy for delivering the parts.”

Capital confusion

Azerbaijan’s tourism board saw a bit of public-relations potential as Azerbaijan Airlines opened a new service to Switzerland at the end of September.

The board sent out a glossy statement about the route, adding that the airline would provide a “hassle-free” travel experience “between the two capitals”.

Which all sounds a bit cuckoo, partly because Switzerland doesn’t really have a capital city.

Bern is the closest contender but, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation’s international news company Swissinfo, it is not listed as the capital in federal legislation. It was simply favoured ahead of Zurich and Lucerne, to avoid concentration of power.

If this seems a bit like nit-picking, there’s another reason why the Azerbaijan tourism board might have overreached with its claim of “enhancing connectivity” between the capitals.

Because Azerbaijan is flying neither to Bern, nor Zurich, nor Lucerne, but rather to Geneva. And when the capital city debate took place in 1848, Swissinfo points out, “Geneva was never in the running.”

Giveaway reg

Leasing companies Avolon and Orix Aviation bigged up Ireland’s potential as a sustainable aviation fuel producer as they unveiled the results of an industry study.

Almost inevitably, the accompanying online presentation to the study featured a generic aircraft photo – in this case a Boeing 737 – on its title page.

Not so generic as to be totally unidentifiable, however, as the mirror-image registration (VH-VZZ) could still clearly be seen on the underside of the wing.

According to Cirium fleets data, Qantas operates this jet having sourced it from, er, rival lessor DAE Capital.

Write man for the job

Regular correspondent Doug Brown is delighted to hear about the appointment of a Monsieur Saint-Exupery [a namesake to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of children’s classic The Little Prince] as Airbus Commercial chief operating officer.

“Can we expect to see Mr WE Johns [of Biggles fame] in a similar role at BAE Systems anytime soon?” he wonders.

Biggles stamp

Source: Irisphoto1/Shutterstock