Passenger traffic grew by 6.5m in 2021 – Yadudu, FAAN MD

2 weeks ago

By Chinelo Obogo            [email protected] 07064781119

The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has said airport passenger traffic grew by 6.5 million in 2021.

At the Airports and Airlines Business Summit & Expo (AABSE) 2022, held recently in Lagos, Yadudu stated that traffic figures improved significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic, growing from 9.3million in 2020 to 15.8million 2021.

“Our passenger traffic grew from 9.3million in 2020 to 15.8million in 2021. That’s an increase of 69 per cent within the 12-month period. Aircraft movement also increased by over 46 per cent from 2020 to 2021, which means that just as soon as COVID-19 subsided, all our figures started picking up.

“Cargo movement was about 191,000 tonnes, but increased to 391,000 tonnes in 2021. Almost double within a year. We are working with all stakeholders in the cargo service value chain to bridge the gap in our import and export of cargo items. We recently urged stakeholders to constitute a technical committee to see to this.

“This year (2022) is even much higher, 2020 it was down. But in 2021, we had a 70 per cent increase. In 2022, we will give you the data in the next two months. Our recovery is very rapid- both in terms of passenger movement and cargo,” he said.

Yadudu also revealed that expansion has continued to go on in the airports, Hajj and Cargo terminal, adding that the international terminal of the airport would also undergo massive reconstruction, even though he noted that funds would be needed for that endeavour.

Yadudu stated that the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos would be expanded and taxiway Bravo is scheduled to be reopened soon, as airfield lightening project is scheduled for completion. The FAAN boss pledged to ensure improved human capital development and train more staff.

He also added that FAAN was working with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to ensure that once an airport operates sunrise to sunset, it must remain sunrise to sunset. “We have to plan our operations the way they have been standardised,” he explained.

Earlier, after inspecting ongoing work at Runway 18L, Yadudu, reacting to questions bordering on the recent stowaway and other security issues, said that every day, not less than four people are arrested at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos attempting to beat the system.

This is just as he has said that aviation security is reactive but that even as FAAN puts up measures to curb incursions into the airports, new technology or improvisation to beat the security is introduced and when uncovered, the agency learns from it to ensure it is not repeated.

He described the security issue as a race and that despite the daily wins, a meagre percentage will be successful which then shames the effort being made but that it has not deterred the authority from continuing with security upgrade.

“Aviation security is very important component that is reactive. Anytime there is a violation, we learn something and make sure it does not happen again. Across the world, security challenges are all over what we hardly tell people is that every day, one to five people are arrested and unfortunately, it is maybe the 0.000001 percent that escapes and is successful but we are working on it.

“It is a race, we are always trying to be on top of the race but sometimes something like this happens and thwarts all out work and that is why we say there is a function of security that is reactive. 100% functional security today but a new technology or new improvisation would all of a sudden render you vulnerable,” he said.

The Authority has ordered and is awaiting delivery of  visual and thermal cameras and other security equipment including motorised surveillance equipment to raise security at the nation’s major airports.

Capt. Yadudu said FAAN has identified various gaps over the years and has solutions for those problems but because it is an agency of government, unlike the private sector, some of those solutions take time to acquire and implement.

“Due process is necessary and also matter in all we do. A private airport can have a problem today and by tomorrow, it can deploy the solutions to it. We know the solutions to the problems we have, but we have to ensure that the due processes are followed for us to implement them.

“FAAN is on the verge of procuring visual and thermal infrared cameras – visuals to cover the areas for a whole day – sunrise to sunset and thermal from sunset to early morning. This will cover within an 8km radius, which is 16km in diameter. The runway is 3.7km or 3.8km and we are buying about four of those cameras to cover the airfield,” he said.

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