It is a known fact that Nigeria’s airports have suffered untold neglect and decay over 15 years with successive ministers making policy statements on what to do to revive them.
However, some of them are beginning to wear new looks due to the ongoing remodeling projects which some stakeholders have describe as a significant step towards reviving airport infrastructure, as a way of efforts at making them at par with what obtains globally.
Balarabe Usman, a retired pilot who led a group of aviation professionals known as Stakeholders’ Square Table, said they took a critical look at development in the sector, at the end of an executive session, and noted that the country’s airports, which had suffered infrastructural decay in the past, “had suddenly turned into construction sites, due to the ongoing airport remodelling projects, designed to modernise Nigerian airports, in line with existing international standards and practices.” Balarabe, who was a pioneer aviation security staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and its first Director of Aviation Security Services, noted that “the airport remodelling project is the second most significant airport development project of the country so far after the Aerodrome Development Programme of the mid-1970s that led to the creation of the then Nigerian Airports Authority, the precursor of FAAN. Usman identified the remodeling of airport terminals across the nation of which four (Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Benin) have been commissioned, as a “good way of injecting fresh breath into the system.
“We are in a path to strengthening aviation sector and giving sighs of relief to travellers after some years, all these, including the plan to create designated terminals for perishable and non-perishable cargo are what will drive fruitful investment for the sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aviation Round Table (ART), a non-governmental organisation has called on government to provide necessary facilities at airports in a bid to prepare it for security audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Dele Ore, president of the group noted that over the years, no Nigerian airport has been certified by ICAO adding that it behooves on government to make available necessary facilities that will give Nigeria the edge that is needed to pass the audit as the officials prepare to carry out another one.