From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
To forestall any breach of security at Nigeria airports, plans are at advance stage to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the strategic locations within the airside in order to forestall aircraft poaching and other incidences, FAAN has said.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also said it has commenced the evacuation of abandoned aircraft at the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
For years, about 13 aircraft own by airlines have been abandoned at the airside of the airport as their owners reluctantly refuse to relocate them despite warnings by the agency.
FAAN General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Communications bemoaned the actions she described as constituting danger to safety and smooth operations of aircraft.
However, she said four of the abandoned aircraft were relocated last Friday while additional four would be moved yesterday (Monday).
The planes are own by Associated Air, IRS, Dana Air and Hak Air. Those removed Monday are for liquidated carrier, Air Nigeria, Associated Cargo, Bellview, JedAir, Precision Aviation Handling Company and PAC, TopBrass and others.
“ The relocation became necessary in order to give more space for airworthy aircraft to land, take off and manoeuvre as expected during operations at the airside, FAAN would continue to take safety and comfort of airport users as a top priority.
She said: “As at Friday, we moved four aircraft from the airside and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of Lagos airport told me again this morning (yesterday) that they are going to move another set of four aircraft. We have about 13 aircraft abandoned at the airside.
“We have taken the legal issues into consideration, if you agree with me; these aircraft are not helping us in anyway. They are taking up a lot of space. Space for aircraft landing and taking off are being taken by these aircraft.
“The airports belong to FAAN, which means that it is the property of the Federal Government and there is no airline that is bigger than Nigeria. Nigeria has given them 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.” Herientta explained further.