FAAN: Repositioning for better services
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.