• Monday, July 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Air passengers stranded in Abuja as FAAN, fuel marketers clash over charges

Passengers to pay more at Easter on shortage of aircraft

Airline passengers are currently stranded at the Abuja airport over disagreement between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) and fuel marketers over 100 percent increase in apron pass charges.

As a result, the airport manager has refused fuel vendors access into the apron to fuel operators aircraft on arrival and departures.

This is just as FAAN says the marketers apron passes has expired.

All aircraft that landed on Thursday morning at the Abuja airport could not leave due to lack of access to refuelling for take-off, making the apron of the airport congested as more aircraft land from different parts of the county.

With this development, all airlines have failed to meet their on-time departures.

An insider said, “Flights are landing and no fuel. I think they are using the fuel marketers as an example but the charges affect everyone including ground handlers etc. This increase is actually across the board but Abuja is taking action today”.

Almost all Lagos to Akure have been cancelled as airlines can no longer meet up with the 6pm sunset airport.

Passengers travelling for Easter break have had their plans shattered over the development.

Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, acting general manager, public relations, FAAN said the apron pass expired since May and they were given up till April first to pay up.

Hope-Ivbaze said the pass renewal is N200,000 and wondered why oil marketers would wait after much appeals and reminders to pay up.

She also noted that, many customers are owing the agency and refused to pay, adding that, FAAN needs the money to fix their facilities and when they breakdown, users lambaste them for failure to leave up to their responsibilities as manager of the airports.

“Their apron passes expired and they were supposed to renew before the expiration date and they did not. Apron passes are given for a one year period and within that one year period, they are supposed to renew.

“The money is not much, it is just N200,000. An oil marketer cannot pay N200,000? When our facilities break down, they except us to fix it, government is not giving us subsection for any of these things, we are an Internally Generated Agency and it is expected that all our facilities are up to date and we need money to run these things and many of our customers are owing,” Hope-Ivbaze added.