The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it is focusing on providing critical equipment on the airside of all its airports to enhance landing and take-off of flights.
FAAN notes that while it continues to work on the rehabilitation and expansion of airport terminal facilities, it also focuses on providing landing aids to enable flights take-off and land in low visibility occasioned by adverse weather situations.
General Manager, Public Affairs of FAAN, Yakubu Dati explains that the authority kicked off the installation of airfield lighting at 13 airports and the work has reached advanced stage in many of the airports. According to him, The Margret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar has been test-run and it is working perfectly, while others have reached advanced stages of completion.
Dati says that FAAN is also collaborating with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to ensure that all critical navigational and landing aids are provided at the airports. “In order to urgently install all the necessary landing aids, FAAN and NAMA are collaborating with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (IACO) to ensure that the provision of airside facilities meets given international standards, he says. Dati believes that by the time FAAN completes the insta”llation of runway lights in these 13 airports, flight cancellations due to poor visibility will reduce to the barest minimum and airlines can fly to these airports in the night. “This is our focus and we are working hard to ensure we meet the expectation of our airlines. Some of the airports already have airfield lighting but we need to replace dead bulbs which we have almost completed. We decided to concentrate on airport development on runway and provision of airfield lighting and bulbs to enhance safety,” he explains.
Dati also disclose that FAAN is currently certifying the airports and working assiduously to conclude everything in preparation for ICAO audit this March.
The regional representative of ICAO, Albert Taylor has commended FAAN and other aviation agencies’ efforts in ensuring that critical equipment is provided at the airside of the nation’s airports, especially the four international airports in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
The problems with the runways, Taylor notes are not critical issues that cannot be addressed, adding that Nigeria has the capacity to provide the needed facility for flights to land and take-off during low visibility.