FAAN: Re­po­si­tion­ing for bet­ter ser­vices

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo in ex­er­cis­ing pres­i­den­tial au­thor­ity signed three Ex­ec­u­tive Or­ders on May 18th, 2017. The three Ex­ec­u­tive Or­ders are: the promotion of trans­parency and ef­fi­ciency in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment de­signed to fa­cil­i­tate ease of do­ing busi­ness in Nige­ria; sup­port for lo­cal con­tent in pub­lic pro­cure­ment by the gov­ern­ment and timely sub­mis­sion of an­nual bud­getary es­ti­mates by all statu­tory and non­statu­tory agen­cies.

Air­port oper­a­tions fall ma­jorly within the as­pect of promotion of trans­parency and ef­fi­ciency in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. The aim is to fa­cil­i­tate and pro­mote ease of do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try. The man­age­ment of Fed­eral Air­ports Au­thor­ity of Nige­ria (FAAN), as the lead­ing agency man­ag­ing over 22 air­ports across the coun­try has since upped its game and has given Nige­rian air­ports the needed trans­for­ma­tion. Ini­tial fo­cus has been on the Mur­tala Muhammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port (MMIA), La­gos; Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port (NAIA) Abuja, Mal­lam Aminu Kano In­ter­na­tional Air­port (MAKIA), Kano and Port Harcourt In­ter­na­tional Air­port. At­ten­tion will be given to other air­ports in fu­ture with due ap­pro­pri­a­tion.

FAAN has been making sure that it ad­heres to her core val­ues of safety, se­cu­rity and com­fort by en­sur­ing we give pas­sen­gers and air­port users seam­less travel ex­pe­ri­ence. It is note­wor­thy that the is­suance of the Ex­ec­u­tive Order has given im­pe­tus to our com­mit­ment in en­hanc­ing pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence at air­ports in the coun­try.

For in­stance, the MMIA has been fully trans­formed to the ad­mi­ra­tion of both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers. The air­port is fast be­com­ing the pride of per­sons trav­el­ing all over the world. Fur­ther­more, In im­ple­ment­ing the Ex­ec­u­tive Order, se­cu­rity agen­cies at the point of cus­tomer in­ter­face have been stream­lined as both in­bound and out-bound pas­sen­gers now ex­pe­ri­ence stress-free move­ment while all the scan­ners, con­veyor belts are func­tion­ing max­i­mally.

The toi­lets at MMIA will be com­pletely re­placed with the E wing al­most com­pleted, checkin halls at the air­ports now have func­tional Flight In­for­ma­tion Dis­play (FID) units po­si­tioned to guide trav­el­ers ap­pro­pri­ately. FAAN has up­graded se­cu­rity in all our air­ports with reg­u­lar perime­ter pa­trol, this is to pro­vide safety for pas­sen­gers and en­sure that unau­tho­rized per­sons do not gain ac­cess into our air­ports and pub­lic con­courses. We have now sinages/ roller ban­ners strate­gi­cally lo­cated all over the air­ports di­rect­ing air­port users and pro­vid­ing vi­tal in­for­ma­tion.

FAAN is do­ing a con­tin­u­ous up­grade of fa­cil­i­ties and has com­menced re­fur­bish­ing of the MMIA ter­mi­nal build­ing cov­er­ing the roof, ceil­ing boards, im­prov­ing on il­lu­mi­na­tion and pro­vid­ing bet­ter cool­ing sys­tem within the air­port. A new multi-level car park has been com­pleted and will be com­mis­sioned soon.

The same gi­ant strides achieved at MMIA have been repli­cated at the Abuja air­port, the sec­ond busiest air­port in the coun­try with fa­cil­i­ta­tion time within the air­port greatly re­duced. FAAN man­age­ment used the re­cent 6 months re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pe­riod to re­fur­bish fa­cil­i­ties within NAIAbuja. We now have a lift that takes pas­sen­gers from the check-in hall to the de­par­ture level. Sim­i­larly, on en­ter­ing the de­par­ture hall of the air­port, Flight In­for­ma­tion Dis­play (FID) units are con­spic­u­ously po­si­tioned for all pas­sen­gers to see from any an­gle. The agency has also fur­nished and ren­o­vated the wing D of the air­port to in­ter­na­tional stan­dard while all the toi­let fa­cil­i­ties have also been ren­o­vated. For easy ac­cess coming in and go­ing out, the agency re­cently made a slight change in her Do­mes­tic Oper­a­tions while it also alerted all air pas­sen­gers, air­port users, stake­hold­ers and the gen­eral pub­lic of the new de­vel­op­ment. Apart from Flight In­for­ma­tion Dis­play (FID) units there are also di­rec­tional sig­nages to prop­erly guide all pas­sen­gers on where to check in, board or pur­chase flight tick­ets.

For im­proved fa­cil­i­ta­tion, Arik Air now op­er­ates at ter­mi­nal B, along with Az­man, First Na­tion, Over­land & Med­view while Aero Con­trac­tors, Air Peace & Dana Air op­er­ate at ter­mi­nal D of Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Abuja with ef­fect from Tues­day, July 25, 2017.

Apart from MMIA and NAIA, there are wide ar­rays of works go­ing on at MAKIA, Port Harcourt In­ter­na­tional Air­port (PHIA), Kaduna In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Kaduna, Akanu Ibiam In­ter­na­tional Air­port Enugu, amongst others.

In terms of se­cu­rity which is paramount in air­port busi­ness, FAAN has in­formed all air­port users that the agency will not com­pro­mise safety. So the agency is work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with se­cu­rity agen­cies, air­lines and others to en­sure pas­sen­ger safety at all times and at all points.

To en­sure Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity (AVSEC) main­tains high stan­dard of se­cu­rity screen­ing across air­ports in the Na­tion, FAAN in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the United Na­tions (UN) trained 35 Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity Per­son­nel who un­der­went counter ter­ror­ism train­ing.

Due to the im­proved ser­vices, up­grade of fa­cil­i­ties and the value added to other ar­eas of the air­ports oper­a­tions, on May 31st, 2017 FAAN passed the mock test of air­craft emer­gency sim­u­la­tion ex­er­cise con­ducted at MMIA to test their readi­ness in times of emer­gen­cies and check her sta­tus in view of the up­com­ing Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the air­port. The ex­er­cise which was ad­judged as a very suc­cess­ful ex­po­sure, drew stake­hold­ers from rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment agen­cies in­clud­ing: NEMA, NAMA, FRSC, FAAN, Po­lice Anti Bomb Squad, LASEMA, Nige­rian Air­force and NCAA. We can also con­firm that five ma­jor in­ter­na­tional air­ports namely La­gos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu, have been slated for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in quick suc­ces­sion. The MMIA will be the first in line for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, while Abuja will follow and the other three sub­se­quently.

The In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ICAO) Pres­i­dent, Dr. Olu­muyiwa Bernard Aliu who re­cently toured Abuja air­port said, “From the brief­ing we re­ceived, it is a work that was well done and timely too be­cause it is im­por­tant for safety oper­a­tions. We also in­spected other fa­cil­i­ties. The work on the run­way that was done- the mark­ings and all that, are also part of the process to en­able the aero­drome cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA), Cap­tain Muhtar Us­man in his as­sess­ment of the air­ports for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion said, “The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process is in 5 stages and La­gos is presently at the fourth stage. The fifth stage is just the sign­ing of the cer­tifi­cate. So, we can say it is al­most at the point of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Abuja will be cer­ti­fied too, once La­gos is fin­ished”.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma re­cently con­firmed that a lot of changes have taken place at the air­ports es­pe­cially in La­gos which is on the verge of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“A lot of changes have taken place at our air­ports. All the things that we thought are not that crit­i­cal in terms of our oper­a­tions have now been brought for­ward…So we have learnt a lot dur­ing this process (of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion) and it has also done so well in im­prov­ing our safety es­pe­cially the two air­ports that we are work­ing on. And al­ready the ef­fect of that is be­ing repli­cated in other air­ports that are yet to be cer­ti­fied be­cause all the things that we have learnt are be­ing sent to our safety of­fi­cers on the field”.

The trans­for­ma­tion at the air­ports has earned the MD and FAAN some awards and lau­rels. The Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African State (ECOWAS) Youth Coun­cil re­cently pre­sented an “Award of Distin­guished African Per­son­al­ity of the Year” to the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma. In the same vein, FAAN was given an award for “The Most Im­proved and In­no­va­tive Gov­ern­ment Agency (Avi­a­tion Agency) In Nige­ria” 2017 by the Pan African In­ter­na­tional Recog­ni­tion Award (PAIR). Apart from be­ing elected as the Pres­i­dent of Air­port Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional (ACI-Africa) on the 18th of Oc­to­ber, 2016, FAAN un­der the watch of Engr. Dunoma has at­tracted ac­co­lades and con­fi­dence from both the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tor.

To a lot of stake­hold­ers and users of the air­ports, things can only get bet­ter as the agency has upped its ante in de­liv­er­ing ster­ling ser­vices to its clients us­ing var­i­ous air­ports across the coun­try.

Mrs. Yakubu the Act­ing Gen­eral Man­ager, Pub­lic Af­fairs, Fed­eral Air­ports Au­thor­ity of Nige­ria (FAAN) wrote from La­gos.

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