The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is currently leaving no stone un-turn in its determinations to engage stakeholders in the industry on how to effectively secure the country’s airports and keep all aspects of the airport business in balance and meet the expectations and needs of all. Suleiman Idris takes a look at the trend and the benefits to be derive from the exercise.
A new revolution is currently percolating through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in the form of a new paradigm shift in collaborative and cooperative model the agency is piloting for stakeholders engagement. It is also championing the aviation industry coordination on the need to strengthen security and deploy resources, human and materials effectively to achieve the cause.
The effectiveness of the new innovative model on the one hand was summed up by stakeholders at a summit in Lagos last week, where FAAN director of Aviation security, Retired Group Captain Usman Abubakar Sadiq reiterated the need for continuously synergy among security agencies, and others across airports in Nigeria in order to stop the incidences of security breach at the airports.
While noting that information sharing is imperative to collectively tackle security issues that might arise, Sadiq affirmed that no security agency can work in isolation or handle security matters alone and achieve success, hence the need to bring in others.
The annual lecture/seminar put together by the Aviation Security Department and held at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, had the Theme: “Aviation Security: An integral part of National Security”.
Aviation Security responsibility is spelt out in ICAO Security Manual DOC-8973-” Safeguarding Civil Aviation Against Unlawful interference” which includes the safety of passengers, airlines, ground personnel, crew members, the public and facilities.
On the other hand, FAAN also pulled together stakeholders as it embarked on the evacuation of disused and abandoned airplane scatter across airports in Nigeria as part of measures to prevent hideouts to criminal elements that could pose security risk to facilities and aircraft either while stationary or on the move. Security experts lauded the efforts and describe them as a round peck in a round hole.
These two prompt strategies aim at creating a comfortable atmosphere for airlines, the travelling public, tenants and the surrounding communities of the airports in Nigeria is proving to be aleaning forward approach to create a collaborative atmosphere, partnerships, and leadership by FAAN to pull information and responses together with the hope to prevent any untoward incident around the airports and creates stronger response mechanism when the need arises.
The current security architecture at the Lagos airport according to stakeholders at the above mentioned summit appears watertight with no room for perpetuation of criminal activities as evident in the drastic reduction of ban substance and drug peddling acts, a menace that had given security agencies in the past nightmare, virtually brought to it kneel.
For the spokesperson for the airport management agency, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, the strategic objectives of the current administration of the Managing Director of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma includes facilitating stakeholders engagement in strategic planning and operational response, and implementing a communications strategy derived from thefair exchange of opinion, based on mutual trust with airlines and partner businesses, as well as passengers and employees.
According to her, the need to afford everyone associated with the safety of the airports becomes imperative in view of the importance of the industry to the economic progress of the nation, “Airlines, Government, Suppliers, Shareholders, Tenants, Unions, Airport community, Local communities, Passengers, General Public, the media among others” must be engage to secure the facilities and everything around the airport.
She said take for instance, on the recent evacuation of the disused planes, “Theairports belong to FAAN, which means that it is the property of the Federal Government and there is no airline that is bigger than Nigeria. But we engaged the owners for a long time to be able to move their aircraft and they have refused to do this. FAAN is not taking possession of their aircraft, but we are moving them away from where they are to another place within the airport where they will not serve as eyesore and where they will not constitute nuisance to activities on our airside.
“What we are doing is part of the services FAAN is providing; comfort and security. So, for security, these aircraft have been abandoned at the airport for long and miscreants can just go in there and do whatever they want. We want our airports to look beautiful and fine, the aircraft that are littered around, it defaces the beauty of our airside.”
Those who spoke to Peoples Daily believe that strong relationships with stakeholders are a fundamental piece of the success and security of the airports as a public entity. These relationships help FAAN to listen, adapt, and innovate to respond to needs, trends, and regulations, and to evolve it businesses.
According to majority of them, the airport management frequent engagement is a step in the right direction and should be encourage as a cycle of learning by engaging stakeholders regularly and through a variety of forums to gather feedback, share information, and solicit ideas for how it can improve. These engagements will directly impact into FAAN decision-making process, long-term planning, and evaluation.