The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has announced that all unscheduled international flights will no longer operate at the International Transit Zone (ITZ), the terminal building of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja. Instead, they have been relocated to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) at the airport.
According to the release, FAAN had invited the listed 33 unscheduled operators to a meeting on Tuesday where it notified the operators about the immediate relocation of their services to GAT.
The affected unscheduled operators included Dornier Aviation, Bristow Helicopter Services, Executive, ExecuJet, Matrix, Jet Support, Skyjet, Triton, Nest Oil, Izy Air, West Link, BUA Aviation, Max Air, Skyrouting and Dana Air.
Others are Oriental Energy, Strong Tower, Mounthill, Trebet, Triax, Swat, Celebration TV, Tak Aviation Base Aviation, Evergreen, Omni Blue, Shiloh Aviation, Kings Air, Mattimi Aviation, Skypower, Jubilee Aviation, Javi Aviation, Ezuma Jets and Luxera Aviation.
It was, however, not clear why the management decided to relocate the unscheduled operators from the international terminal to GAT.
Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), West Link Airline, confirmed the development to Daily Independent on phone.
Mshelia said that the relocation was good for the system, but said it had nothing to do with insecurity around the nation’s airports in recent time.
According to him, the authority had deployed officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other critical agencies necessary for smooth sail operations of the unscheduled operators at the GAT.
He said: “It’s a progress for the sector and it is long overdue for charter and private jet operators to operate differently from the international terminal for their services. Passengers on charter flights don’t have to go to the international terminal because they want to travel. For me, this is a welcome development and I want to commend the airport authority for this.
“FAAN is actually moving Customs, Immigration and others there for operations. For instance, if you are a VIP on a private or charter jet, you don’t have to go to international airport to catch the flight. I can tell you that this has helped us a lot and we are very happy about it.”
When contacted, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, confirmed the development.
She, however, said that the relocation of the unscheduled operators to GAT was to enable FAAN carry out markings on the Abuja airport runway.