Abandoned Okada air aircraft at Benin airport
Lagos (Punch) – The Federal Government, through its agency, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, has started evacuating abandoned aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, told journalists on Monday that at least 13 aircraft belonging to different airlines had been abandoned at the airport for several years.
She said the agency had told the owners of the aircraft to relocate them away from where they were presently abandoned but none of them responded.
“Four of the abandoned aircraft were relocated last Friday, while additional four will be moved today (Monday),” she said.
Yakubu stated that the aircraft relocated last Friday belonged to Associated Air, Hak Air, Dana Air and IRS.
She added, “The others that will be moved today (Monday) are those belonging to Air Nigeria, Associated Cargo, Bellview, JedAir, Precision Aviation Handling Company, PAC and TopBrass, among others.
“The relocation became necessary in order to give more space for airworthy aircraft to land, take off and manoeuvre as expected during operations at the airside.
FAAN will continue to take safety and comfort of airport users as a top priority.”
She said the agency had taken the legal issues into consideration, adding that the aircraft were taking up a lot of space for operating planes to land and take off.
Yakubu explained, “The airports belong to FAAN, which means that it is the property of the Federal Government, and there is no airline that is bigger than Nigeria. Nigeria has given them a long time to be able to move their aircraft and they have refused to do this.”
“FAAN is not taking possession of the aircraft, but we are moving them away from where they are to another place within the airport where they will not serve as an eyesore and where they will not constitute a nuisance to activities on our airside. What we are doing is part of the services FAAN is providing, which is comfort and security.”
She said the agency had also embarked on grass cutting at the airside to improve safety.
She added that patrol vehicles that used to go ahead of aircraft would now move behind, adding that this would help the aircraft go to the parking bay without any incident or poaching.
Yakubu also stated that FAAN would soon procure and install CCTV cameras at strategic places within the airside to further improve security.