• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Airlines to move to new terminal as FG shuts old MMIA for repairs

Aviation: Nigeria moves to break monopoly on United States, South America routes

Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development has directed airlines and companies operating in the airport to move to the new terminal, MMIA terminal two constructed by the Chinese company as the old terminal will be shut down for repairs October 1, 2023.

This is as he suspended the Nigeria Air project, the concession project and other contracts stressing that he owes it to the government and Nigerians to give honest assessment.

The minister said the concession and national carrier will be suspended until he briefs the President.

Keyamo also said that Muritala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, will be shut down from October 1, 2023 for total maintenance work at the airport.

The minister therefore directed all international airlines to vacate the old MMIA terminal from October 1, 2023 to Terminal Two..

The minister disclosed this on Thursday during a tour at the international airports in Lagos, where he was accompanied by Kabir Yusuf Mohammed, MD, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

Read also: Nigerian airlines lament limited access to choice airports on international routes

He also said that all private hangars like Dominion hangar, EAN hangar and others would be relocated to pave the way for expansion of the new terminal.

According to him, passengers need to feel the comfort of the new terminal while the old terminal would be shut down for renovation.

He noted that the reason the new terminal had not been underutilized was because it could not take wide-bodied aircraft.

Keyamo said the airline would be using the new terminal while the government procures big buses to convey passengers.

“You can see that the complaints of foreigners and Nigerians coming into Nigeria has been with the old terminal. The old terminal is an eyesore, things are not working there but we have this new terminal that the Chinese built. Nigerians are asking why they are not using this new terminal.

“The simple reason is that how this international Gateway terminal was designed without a provision for the big planes, no avio-bridges that can link the big planes, that has been the problem. Meanwhile, 60 percent of FAAN revenue comes from the Lagos airport,” he said.

He explained that the Lagos gateway is the first impression passengers get when they come into the country, adding that the solution is that the country must use what it has for now.

Read also: African airlines represent only 2.1% of global passenger traffic – IATA

“I am giving international airlines till 1st of October to move from the old terminal to the new terminal. We are going to shut down the old terminal and sort out all the issues regarding renovation of the terminal, there are issues with concessions and all of that for now. I have suspended all of that, including the issue of Nigeria Air, I have given directive to suspend everything until I brief Mr. President as to what is happening regarding all of these noises.

The duty I owe the President is honesty and rightly advising him. I will look at all the agreements and everything that was signed to correctly inform him. I owe my total loyalty to Nigerians to have good aviation services.

“For now, the temporary arrangements we have are for the comfort of Nigerians. We have to find a way to use the new terminal. Like in many other countries, we have to get emergency procurement to buy big buses and move passengers to where the big planes can stop for both arrivals and departures, so that Nigerians can have some form of comfort.

“The long term plan is that we are going to find a way to build avio-bridges for the big Aircraft coming in and that means some of those private hangars will have to go for public purpose. We have to relocate them, if we have to do anything for them, so that we can have a beautiful, functional gateway to Nigeria. For now, I am giving them till the first of October to shut down the old terminal so that we can use the new terminal,” he said.