Friday , June 14 2024

Nigeria: FAAN Begins Relocation of Airlines to New International Wing Terminal

At the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has started moving foreign airlines to the new international terminal.

It has only been a week since Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, instructed FAAN’s management to ensure that foreign airlines relocate from the old terminal to the new aerodrome, which former President Muhammadu Buhari dedicated on March 22, 2022.

The FAAN’s Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, said on Thursday night that the organization had switched the processing of passengers to the new international terminal, effective right away.

Yakubu-Funtua emphasised that the unlucky fire incident that happened at the international terminal on Wednesday was believed to be the reason for the hurried move to the new international terminal.

The statement added: “The Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Kayamo during his maiden visit to Lagos airport had directed FAAN to relocate airlines to the new international terminal for the shutdown of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Terminal One by October 1, 2023, with a view to improving passenger experience and for the total overhaul of the terminal.

“We intend to make this movement as seamless as possible, but appeal to all travellers to please be at the airport early enough to complete their check-in formalities on time in order not to miss their flight.”

To move all airline operations to the new international terminal and abandon the old terminal for renovation, Keyamo had given FAAN until October 1, 2023.

Keyamo regretted that the new terminal, which was part of the terminals built with Chinese loans and counterpart funding from the Federal Government, was wildly underutilized and that the old terminal had grown deteriorated, smelly, and outdated and therefore needed urgent rehabilitation. He appreciated the state-of-the-art facilities at the new terminal.

He had said: “We should move and use the new terminal, that is all I have said. The new terminal is underutilised, we spent a lot of money building it and we have to use it. The old terminal is a total eye sore.

“Since I came into office, I have heard complaints upon complaints. The central air condition is not working, the carousels are not working, they break down quite often and the approach into the airport is smelly, it is totally unwelcoming to people coming into Nigeria and that is the gateway to Nigeria.

“So, I have given a directive that we should completely shut it down and use the new terminal that can also take the traffic. Now what was the problem? The problem with the new terminal was that they did not take into consideration the big airplanes that would come in and anchor with the avio-bridges that would take passengers on arrival.

“The space is not enough, and I have said that why the space is not enough is because there are private hangars there that cannot allow the planes to come in and that is why we are not enjoying our new terminal.”

The Minister went on to say that the old terminal needed to be demolished in order to make room for a full renovation of the building, which has served Nigeria since it opened for international service in 1979.

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