*says it remains open for operations
Posted by Sade Williams
The Management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, Lagos, has restated its commitment to ensure seamless flight operations and services at the terminal.
This is coming on the heels of the release by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in the form of a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) that with effect from Monday 10th December 2018, Aviation Security Personnel will be withdrawn from the terminal. This action is due to alleged financial infractions against BASL.
It would be recalled that FAAN had threatened to withdraw its personnel from MMA2 due to alleged indebtedness to the tune of N1, 943,323,516.50 billion naira. In a letter dated 30 October 2018 to BASL pertaining to outstanding personnel costs for FAAN staff deployed to MMA2, demanding Bi-Courtney to pay for the provision of the Aviation Security, Rescue and Fire Fighting Services as invoiced by FAAN among other charges or face withdrawing its personnel. This was formally responded to in a letter addressed to FAAN reiterating BASL’s stance on the demands for payments of purported outstanding liabilities.
In this letter, BASL states “We have consistently brought it to your notice that we have a judgment credit of N132, 540,580,304.00 (one hundred thirty-two billion, five hundred forty million, five hundred eighty thousand, three hundred four Naira) since 03 March 2009. This credit arose directly from the non-implementation of the Concession Agreement by the appropriate authorities. The Courts have consistently ordered that any liability we have to FAAN or any federal government agency should be deducted from this amount”.
Despite the receipt of BASL’s response, FAAN have flagrantly disregarded several Court Orders including the most recent with reference Suit Number – FHC/ABJ/CS/1422/18/ issued on Wednesday, the 28th of November 2018 pertaining to this matter, duly served to FAAN, ordering that “the status quo be maintained and that nothing that may disrupt and / or hinder the operation of the Airport should be done pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.
BASL went on to state that ample safety and security measures have been put in place to ensure the withdrawal of FAAN personnel does not in any way impede or disrupt smooth flight operations and other business activities at the terminal, reiterating that there are adequately trained and NCAA certified personnel to man the various parts and all sensitive points at the terminal.
According to statement made available to The Travelport in Lagos by BASL management, since inception, BASL has trained its own Aviation Security Personnel to work along with FAAN Security at the terminal. Since 2016, BASL have been performing the same service that FAAN performs in their absence. Staff are trained in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Security Training Programme (NCASTP) in respect of X-ray Image Interpretation and physical security screening.
It stated that ‘it should be noted that the withdrawal of FAAN personnel in no way jeopardizes security levels – in fact, it is known that the NCAA have conducted numerous audits on FAAN personnel at the terminal revealing that many of the staff are absent and that the required number are not on duty or do not have the requisite training. BASL assures all air operators and the travelling public that the regulatory requirements for security and safety will be strictly adhered to and complied with in full.
“BASL is prepared and continues to consistently ensure safety, security and smooth operations at MMA2, without entertaining compromise on aviation best practices.