The Managing Director/Chief Executive of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Hamisu Yadudu says the number of airports under FAAN’s management has increased to 25.
Yadudu was speaking during the recent meeting with the leadership of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), and Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to exchange ideas on how best to develop airports across the country and the possible best approach to the proposed concession of some major airport terminals.
The meeting, which was a fall-out of ASRTI’s August 13, 2020 webinar titled “Airport Concession In Nigeria: How Far, So Far?”, had in attendance, the Technical Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Mustapha Junaidu, a staff of the ICRC attached to the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Yadudu said as at February 2020, Osubi airport had been handed over to FAAN while Jigawa airport had also just been handed over to the Authority. He explained that this translated to greater responsibility for FAAN especially at a time when its revenue has significantly reduced due to effects of covid19 pandemic.
He added that amidst these challenges, FAAN had taken delivery of 55 Self Service Kiosks from ICTS as part of efforts to enhance airport users’ comfort.
Yadudu further announced that FAAN had received approval to increase the Passenger Service Charge, which had not been changed for eight years.
Item by item, contents of the communiqué that was issued at the end of ASRTI Webinar were reviewed and analyzed as ideas were exchanged on how best to approach the intended concession of some airport terminals across the country.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, met with FAAN’s management team ahead of next Saturday’s reopening of airspace for international flights, urging a remodelling of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).
Discussions at the meeting focused partly on actionable steps being put in place at the MMIA by the federal and state governments to give travellers comfort and better experience when the facility is opened for air traffic.
The governor made a case for the provision of fast free Internet connectivity within lounges at the airport, noting that the era of passengers sitting for long without Internet access had passed. He said the functionality of the airport must be fully explored, urging the management to invest in facilities that would drive more passenger traffic to the airport.
Sanwo-Olu said officials of the state government had been working round the clock with the Federal Government to initiate safety protocols at the airport and drive compliance. The effort, he said, would be followed by a joint assessment of the airport facility with FAAN and other agencies. He explained the development activities embarked on by the state government to ensure travellers have better experience while passing through the airport, said that the state had already started the construction of a world-class bus terminal close to the airport.
The bus terminal, the governor said, would serve as holding station for international passengers who will not be driving into the airport, adding that the bus station would be complemented with rail infrastructure to shuttle air passengers from the metropolis departure terminals.
Sanwo-Olu described the airport as “a gateway that defines the nation, because it is the first facility to be seen by international travellers.” He said the Murtala Mohammad International Airport is an important asset, not only to the Federal Government but also to Lagos State stating that the strategic use of this airport should necessitate the need to fully harness the asset and make it a bubbling destination for tourists and businessmen coming into the country.
He said some of the facilities installed in the airport at inception were due for modernization and upgrading.
The FAAN team, led by Capt. Yadudu, also made request to the governor for intervention germane to the seamless operations of the Lagos airport, which contributes 70 per cent of FAAN’s total revenue. Yadudu used the opportunity to thank the state government for the construction of the airport road from Oshodi, noting that the intervention has strengthened the partnership between Lagos State government and FAAN.