By Prince Okafor
With the current delays on flight time along with infrastructural deficits across various airports in the country, an airline operator has called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to extend operation time at the Lagos Airport to midnight.
The operator also tasked the authority to open up the old Abuja International Airport Terminal for domestic utilisation.
Speaking to newsmen, the Chairman, West Link Airline, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia, stated that airlines were growing with more aircraft and route expansion but the current terminals are facing capacity crisis and unable to meet up.
He said: “Over the years, stakeholders have been complaining but no action as regards infrastructure expansion. Averagely, passengers on an aircraft range from 120 to 170 depending on the size of the plane. If we are talking about five airlines, that would be 120 by five airlines, they need to check them in and that would be 600 passengers, now that will take you quite some time to check in because of the space and infrastructural deficit,
“It takes up to five minutes to check in one passenger, even if you say two minutes to check in a passenger, how many counters would you need to be able to check in those people within the two-hour rate that they give?
“They give you two hours to check in passengers, so you will need 300 check-in counters if you are going to use two minutes per passenger. If you have no space, then you have congestion, and then chaos and commotion at the end. So passenger delays, sorting their baggage, access to the tarmac, moving the bags, number of vehicles that can do it and so on. See there are so many things that are combined with the infrastructure that we are talking about, there is infrastructure but the capacity of airlines has overwhelmed it and one wonders why all these years, nothing was done to expand it until only recently that they are doing some expansion.
“Terminal expansion is the only way to fix this development, since people will still come with their luggage, even introducing a slot system would not be favourable to domestic airlines as it will limit their capacity.
“A slot system for domestic airlines should not be the case, you should have more terminals being built.
“The quick fix is to open up to domestic airlines the old international airport terminal that is not being used properly so why don’t you open all of it? That would solve the problems.
“In Lagos another thing you can also do is (between these two airports, to be frank with you there is no problem with this daylight operation) you see Abuja bound traffic is checking in Warri bound traffic is checking in with others checking in this same Abuja and this same Lagos, so the quick fix is to open up all the airports to midnight, if you do so, the airlines on their own will naturally adjust their schedules and give space, it would naturally mitigate this without doing anything to the current infrastructure.
” If you open the airport to close at midnight, you have solved a lot of the problems already and in Abuja open up the old international terminal that is not being used.”
The post Infrastructure leakages: ‘FAAN must open old Abuja airport, extend operating time now’ appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply