As the Minister of Transport, Mr Chibuike Amaechi and the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika map out strategies for transforming Nigeria into a global aviation hub, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has stepped up efforts aimed at actualising its goal.
Against this background, FAAN has promised that the country’s airports will become more user-friendly and emerge as a major centre for investors this year. The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Yakubu Dati is optimistic that safer and more secured airports would be in place this year when the new terminals under construction would be completed. According to him, FAAN has put in place measures that would enable passengers have the experience they always enjoy outside the Nigerian shores.
He said that FAAN security operatives and other security agencies would continue to deploy detective machines such as screening machine, Close Circuit Television (CCTV), full body scanners and personal intelligence to ensure easy facilitation of passengers.
Dati explained that FAAN was gearing up towards handling the expected 30 million passengers’ traffic at the completion of work at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport terminal building in Lagos. According to him, the agency is presently handling 15 million passengers, but has projected an additional traffic of 15 million this year with the completion of the terminal in Lagos. “With the completion of the new terminal in Lagos, the facility will be able to process additional 15 million passengers, which means we will be able to service about 30 million passengers. All these are things put together to raise aviation to a new level this year,” he said.
Dati promised that the Nigerian aviation industry would scale the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit slated for March 2016. “What looked like a mock exercise towards the audit was conducted recently by the Airport Council International (ACI) team during the visit on their invitation by the managing director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma,” he added.
He disclosed that security has been enhanced across the airports with a view to meeting the challenges ahead, adding that FAAN was looking forward to partnering with investors as a result of dwindling resources in line with the minister’s statement.
He appealed to airlines and concessionaires to pay their debts to agencies to enable them to continue rendering services to them.
On the certification of airports in the country, Dati said a team was working round the clock with other agencies to ensure that all gaps were closed.
He advised airport users, especially passengers not to leave any luggage behind as any unattended luggage will be destroyed, adding that passengers adhere strictly to airport rules and regulations.