The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has entered into a partnership with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and Airline Operating Committee (AOC) towards improving services at airports nationwide.
The move, which is an initiative of the new Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, is to get the buy in of the major stakeholders in the new dispensation.
And to bring the stakeholders closer to the regulator, FAAN has set up a committee, with members also drawn from the airlines, to chart path to more efficient aerodromes.
Recall that there are about 26 airports nationwide of which 22 are Federal Government-owned and managed by FAAN. Though the government has concluded plans to concession the airports beginning with the big four in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, the plan is to keep improving the airports.
The move also aligns with the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) recent appeal to Nigeria and other African countries, to upgrade their airport infrastructure to meet projected growth in the aviation industry.
ICAO President, Bernard Aliu, had said Africa has the highest growth potential among other continents, even as global passenger traffic has been projected to double, hitting 8.1 billion by 2035.
Yadudu, at the parley held at FAAN headquarters in Lagos, re-affirmed the authority's commitment to the improvement of services, just as he solicited the cooperation and support of the operators.
He said the goal was to concentrate on delivering structured, time-bound, sustainable and improved services to all stakeholders.
FAAN, he added, was already taking bold steps at addressing gaps in processes and procedures by collaborating with ICAO, through its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme.
The MD assured the stakeholders that the new management would be open to advice and constructive criticisms.
He requested the associations to nominate two members to work in a committee that will be constituted immediately alongside FAAN officials to drive the delivery of improved services at our airports.
The Chairman of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, congratulated the new MD on his appointment, describing Yadudu's appointment as a round peg in a round hole.
Meggison pledged the support and cooperation of airline operators towards delivering improved services at the airports, and helping FAAN to develop the Lagos airport into a hub.
In a related development, Yadudu has said all the country's international airports have Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) as part of criteria to deal with crisis situations when they arise.
FAAN recently inaugurated an EOC at the Kaduna International Airport. Yadudu explained that Kaduna Airport was added to the growing number of emergency centres in the country because of its international status.
"So far, it's only international airports that have EOCs, but it is what we should have in every airport. Kaduna airport didn't have before now, maybe because it wasn't an international airport, but all the airports should have it.
"The essence is to cater for emergencies like air crash, terminals incidents and any form of emergencies that may arise where you have casualties. You need to have a place to coordinate emergencies where you can seat down quickly and direct resolutions of the emergencies.
"That's why it is not usually inside the terminal or on airside, but where you can have accessibility to the runway, airside and the terminal. You can see what's happening, but it's a bit remote from the terminal building. Whatever is happening in the terminal, you can easily go there.
"All the airports have aerodrome emergency plan. When you have an emergency, you quickly activate it and call the people that are in charge of such emergency like the fire service, airport manager and others. All of these things are spelt out, and with their leaders," he said.