…as Authority orders more scanners
By Sade Williams
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will not compromise safety in its implementation of the Executive Order, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, acting General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, has said. She told journalists that in as much as they are ever ready to comply with the order, FAAN cannot completely eradicate manual checks.
She emphasized however that such checks could be done when a security agent wants to confirm his or her suspicion.
“FAAN cannot compromise security. So we are working with the security agencies, airlines and others. When there is a need to search baggage manually, we do so but that takes place at the baggage hall, not within the purview of where the passengers are”, she said.
As part of the implementation exercise, Yakubu said FAAN had since collapsed all the different screening desks at the airport into one point just as he stressed that FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC), Quarantine, Customs adding that other security agencies are now in one single point to check passengers’ luggage.
“FAAN has started implementation on Monday. We have been able to collapse all the different desks at the airport into one. If you go to MMIA at the screening section, you will find out that the FAAN AVSEC, Quarantine and a few other security agencies are there. All of them are there now to check the luggage of passengers coming into the airport. If there is a need for further checks; when the luggage get into the baggage hall and you suspect any luggage, further checks are done there. We no longer have different desks at the airport. We don’t have Customs, Quarantine and others separate but have collapsed all of them into one”, she added.
She said that FAAN had already ordered for more scanners which are expected to arrive the country this weekend.
“These scanners will take care of everybody. You know what we have now are the monitors. It is because FAAN wanted to comply with the 30-day executive order, so we used what we have on ground to start implementation. The scanners are coming in this weekend”, the GM said.
In a related development, she said that FAAN will soon come up with a befitting modern corporate headquarters, adding that the report of the recent fire incident has been submitted by the Investigation Committee.
“The report was actually submitted exactly two weeks they were mandated. Why we have not made it public is because we are waiting for the police report. The police are investigating and we don’t want to pre-empt police investigations”, she said.
Yakubu also said that FAAN is excited about the approval of the ten lane MMIA road project by Lagos State government, stressing that they are ready to cooperate with Lagos State government.
Yakubu, who said the airport is now free from touts, advised travelers to always go to the counters to purchase their tickets, adding that the authority has also opened passengers’ support services.
“The air conditioners, signages are working and the environment is good now. We are working with the police. Once we get them, we take them to the police who would take up the case. We have sniffer dogs and anybody milling around the airport without any business there is arrested”.
Mrs. Yakubu said before the end of this year, MMIA and Port Harcourt airport terminals would be ready while airlines would be able to make night landings.
“FAAN is making sure that they give their passengers seamless travel experience. We are going to extend it to all the airports in the country”.