FAAN boss: We’re on course with Lagos, Abuja airports recertification

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja has intercepted 21.9kg of Cocaine.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is fully on course for the recertification of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director of the agency has said.

The agency also said that it is fully prepared to ensure improved security and safety at the nation’s airports, saying that it would use the next week’s Safety Week, promoted by the Airports Council International (ACI) to further stimulate security at the nation’s airports.

Speaking on Friday at the agency’s operational headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Yadudu said that FAAN had set up a team to work with the inspectors of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on how the two airports could be recertified early.

Apart from the two airports, he also said that plans were ongoing to certify Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports, lamenting that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the performance of the agency in the past year.

He, however, assured that FAAN would continue to take the security and safety of humans and equipment seriously, stressing that without security there was no aviation industry.

In a bid to facilitate the process, Yadudu told journalists that FAAN’s certification team meets with officials of NCAA weekly, while the certification team of each airport also meets every two days.

He said: “We are on the verge of recertifying Lagos and Abuja and we are equally committed to certifying Enugu, Port Harcourt and Kano airports, but there are various technical requirements and conditions involved. It is only when you are involved that you will fully appreciate the enormity of the work. But, the fact that we did Lagos and Abuja, we will surely do the others. It is a commitment.

“The issue that slowed us down is the Covid-19 pandemic; suddenly, the whole world was grounded to a halt, not just FAAN or NCAA. That unfortunately affected our revenues; it was down to about 2 to 3 per cent revenue at a time and we tried to survive it.

“Just yesterday (Thursday), an official of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) called me that they just started moving about two weeks ago. So, certification involving our own team within Nigeria is working. But, the fact is that we are still in the Covid-19, even though it is now under control, but Covid-19 affected a lot of things that we had planned to do last year in our airports.”

On Security Week, Yadudu said that the programme was approved by the ACI-Africa and it would be celebrated across all member airports from October 25 through 28 of the same month.

He gave the team of the 2021 event as: ‘Promotion of Security Culture in African Airports,” saying that this was in tandem with the declaration of the year 2021 as the Year of Security Culture by ICAO.

Some of the issues to be discussed at the week included insider threat, training, currency, vulnerabilities, social and security challenges, stressing that the management was flexible to allow each airport manager to further discuss some security challenges as they affected them.

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