Posted by Sade Williams
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Tuesday, stated that it was ready to give airline operators, who parked their aircraft on the cargo apron at the international wing and the domestic terminal apron at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos alternative airport(s) to park their aircraft to decongest the aprons without paying parking fee.
This is just as the agency stated that the main challenge FAAN was having today is the parking of aircraft at both the cargo apron at the international terminal and domestic terminal at GAT permanently by some airline operators, thereby preventing other airlines from using the aprons and also making the agency’s job difficult.
The Regional General Manager, South West/Airport Manager, Mrs. Victoria Shin –Aba stated this on Tuesday, shortly after a tour of the cargo section at the international wing and General Aviation Terminal(GAT) apron at the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA), Lagos.
The concerned airlines, she stated do not pay parking charges because Lagos is their home base.
She disclosed that FAAN has written to the airlines concerned and that the agency was also discussing with the operator.
The Regional GM stated that the agency had written to affected airlines and was still talking with them to move their unserviceable aircraft from the apron, adding that the operators on their part have attributed security and maintenance challenges as reasons for not wanting to move their aircraft.
According to her, “What we are saying is that we can provide these airline operators space at other airports with lesser traffic.”
In view of the unwillingness of operators to remove their aircraft from the apron, Shin-Aba said that FAAN would review its Bye Laws that is about 15 years old not only to check the excesses of airline operators .but also to meet current realities.
Speaking further, she added that the international terminal witnessed 272 aircraft movement per day, 123 arrivals on international while domestic records 27 arrivals and 22 departures daily.
On cargo, she said that the terminal witnessed 30 arrivals and 38 departures weekly.
On the capacity of the cargo apron, she stated that it could park four aircraft, adding that there are 14 avio-bridges plus four parking bays and that the domestic terminal (GAT) has 14 parking bays.
The airport , she said has space challenge , adding that when the airport was commissioned in 1979, only about eight international flights were handled and about one or two cargo flight(s) in a week, adding that today the international terminal records 272 aircraft movement per day.
She said that no major expansion has been carried out on both the cargo apron at the international wing and the apron at the domestic terminal.
At the cargo apron, Shin-Aba said that it can park two wide body aircraft and two smaller ones, adding that when the apron is filled up, the cargo aircraft would be taken to international terminal.
On why the cargo has not been expanded, the Regional General Manager, said that the contract for the expansion was given 10 years ago but that the contractor abandoned it but did not give the name of the contractor or say why it was abandoned.
Shin-Aba , however added that there are plans to expand cargo apron to contain eight aircraft .