The three remaining Chinese-Nigeria funded terminals of Lagos, Kano and Enugu which have been under construction will be delivered and commissioned before the 20th of January 2020, according to the Managing Director Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.
This is just as it was revealed that the Murtala Mohammad Airport Ikeja domestic terminal One (MMA1) recorded a total of 551,380 passenger movements with 6261 aircraft movements (landing and takeoff) at between July and December 2020 from the reopening of the airport.
Captain Yadudu who spoke last weekend explained that all things being equal, “we expect to have Kano commissioned before the 20th of this month, including Lagos and even Enugu. All the three (3) remaining international airports, we are working to commission them before the 20th.
That is our plan but of course you plan and there could be difference because we need the businesses but of course our operations are pretty much going on but the numbers are down, only about 30-35 percent and when we open more it will be better and better service for our people, and for us at FAAN it will mean more businesses and our stakeholders.
The FAAN helmsman who spoke on the need to transform the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) into a hub said it was a vital consideration to have the airport operate efficiently and have all the essentials to meet the category it wishes to attain.
Yadudu said,”That is a an important consideration for us, to have a hub to operate it efficiently, you need these connectivity, well in the first instance, we already have a committee to have this, and part of the success of that committee is that we have a linkage between the old and the new terminal, it was completed last week, it is not commissioned because the terminal itself is not yet commissioned.
“We have a proper linkage now between the old and the new buildings and talking about connectivity between the internationals and with the domestic we are working with government, we have designs for the most suitable ways to achieve the connectivity, buses and even a light rail proposal but right now we are at the development and planning stage.
“ We have the proposals already, on Monday we even had a meeting with some of the companies bringing proposals, these are concepts that we studied and decide which one is the best by our team, the government and the ministry representatives and make sure that at the end of the day we arrive at a decision that is very practical and of course cost efficient for our operations.
We have connected the two internationals, now we want to focus on how to seamlessly connect them with the domestic terminals.
On the passenger and aircraft figures at the MMA popularly called the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), the terminal manager Mr Adekunle Aderibigbe, revealed that passengers turnout was encouraging considering the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to statistics released, inbound passengers recorded 270,828 while departures stood at 280,552 passengers.
3,068 aircraft landed at the airport between July and December 2020 while 3,193 aircraft took off from same airport during the period under review.
Aderibigbe explained that initially passengers turn out at the commencement of flight operations after the easing of the lockdown was not too impressive but disclosed that it has gradually picked especially during the yuletide.
He noted that airlines last December witnessed surge in passenger traffic but were able to manage their passengers as more aircraft were deployed to accommodate passengers.
Aderibigbe explained that safety, security and comfort of passengers remained their priority especially while complying with the covid-19 protocols adding that adamant passengers were forced to comply as directed by the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
The terminal manager lamented that some passengers have remained the greatest challenge the management was facing as some of them refused to cooperate with them on the protocols on ground.
He however noted that sanity has returned to almost every point in the nation as the Covid-19 has made people to sit tight on their jobs and maintaining all protocols.
The terminal manager revealed that with all the facilities put in place following the outbreak of the pandemic were being maintained and with the second wave, the compliance team to the protocols have been going round to ensure that nobody was left out.
Aderibigbe explained that the management has been holding meetings with stakeholders and will continue to do that especially with the second wave of the pandemic.
He said both terminal and the airport has been cleared of unwanted visitors especially to avoid bottleneck on the access roads stressing that arriving passengers board their vehicles at the terminal car park.
The manager explained that ticketing agents in the terminal have been sent out and online purchasing encouraged which has reduced touting.