There are plans by the Federal Government to operate two terminals at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, it was gathered on Monday.
The PUNCH learnt that the plan to have two terminals like the local wing of the Lagos airport was to accommodate the over 30 airlines operating international flights into the country.
It was gathered that at the completion of the new terminal, currently under construction by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, it would run side by side with the old terminal to facilitate the growing number of passengers on international routes.
The old terminal, built over 40 years ago, was said to have been planned to facilitate about 200,000 passengers but currently processing close to 10 million annually.
The new terminal was said not to be large enough to accommodate the country’s growing annual passenger traffic.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, who confirmed the plan, said activities would continue in both terminals.
“The MMIA is an edifice and it will be remodelled. We will move activities to the new terminal, then work on one module; upon completion, we will move to another module until it is completely remodelled,” she said.
The Federal Government said a few years ago that it planned to upgrade all the airport terminals in the country despite the proposed concession of some of the airports.
The government had said upon the completion of work on the MMIA, Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Port Harcourt International and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, other airport terminals across the country would be upgraded.
The President, Aviation Roundtable Initiative, Mr Gbenga Olowo, said the old MMIA terminal was long overdue for expansion.
He said, “The terminal we currently have cannot handle the capacity of passengers into and out of the country; it is already overcrowded.
“The Schipol Airport, which it was modelled after, has long been expanded to meet passenger needs and now handles 70 million passengers annually, but we are still running the old one built for 200,000 passengers.”
By Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi