– The Sun News

Nigeria lines up Enugu, Kano, Port Harcourt airports for certification

Louis Ibah

A team of safety and security auditors from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have commenced work geared at preparing four of Nigeria’s international airports sited in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Kano ready for international certifications, says Managing Director/CEO of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma.

Dunoma, who addressed aviation reporters in Lagos yesterday, also announced that all ongoing  remodeling work at the Lagos and Abuja airports would be completed by June 2018.

“We had to change the completion dates (initially fixed for 2016) because of issues pertaining to dollar exchange rate with contractors because when the projects were awarded the dollar exchanged for N160 but as at today it goes for over N300 per $1. The approval process for the variations of the contract ended up being sop lengthy, but Port Harcourt Airport is about 80 per cent completed, while Abuja and Lagos are almost done. By the middle of this year we should complete these projects,” he added.

Dunoma said the said safety and security processes, infrastructure and conditions at the Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Kaduna international airports  were being evaluated by the auditors from NCAA and FAAN with the view to getting them align with international standards prior to their certification.

Dunoma said the certification of the four airports became necessary following the successful certification of the Lagos and Abuja airports by the NCAA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). None of Niegria’s airports operated with any international certification until the Lagos and Abuja airports were certified in 2017. Dunoma said the plan was to get all airports in the country certified in the years ahead.

He also said plans have reached advanced stage to procure and install mobile Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the airside of all airports in the country.

Dunoma said that the mobile CCTV cameras would cover a distance of seven kilometers and could sight even long distances at night.

According to him, with the procurement of the mobile cameras and improvement on perimeter fencing patrol, the era of incursions into the airside of airports by unwanted persons (like the recent invasion of the Akure airport runway by heard of cows) would be eliminated.

Dunoma also debunked allegations that runways managed by the agency were faulty and could have been responsible for the accident involving a Dana Air flight recently at the Port Harcourt Airport.

“One of the features of runways design is to ensure effective drainage on the sides so that water does not collect at the centres and that’s how our runways are,” he said.

“So we don’t have issues with flooding on our runways because our runways are designed in such a way that water is properly drained,” he added.

On the indebtedness of airlines and other concessionaires in the sector, Dunoma said FAAN was reconciling the debts with its clients at regional level and would continue to do this until the debts are reduced to the barest minimum, but observed that aviation industry worldwide allows credit.

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