Link int’l, domestic wings of MMIA to ease passenger transit – U.S urges Nigeria

Posted: June 23, 2019 in general
FAAN US 2

(From left) United States Embassy in Nigeria officials including: Tyler Nunley, General Services Officer; Scott Clayton, Economic Officer; Michael Carney, Deputy Economic Counselor, with Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu and other top management staff of the agency; Nehemiah Auta, Chief of Staff to the MD, FAAN; Alh. ML Sani, RGM, North Central/AM NNIA, Abuja; Lawal Abdullahi, SA-Tech to MD-FAAN & Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, when the embassy team paid a courtesy visit to FAAN boss at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, last Thursday

By VICTOR NZE

United States Embassy in Nigeria has urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to link the international and domestic terminals of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, to facilitate transit of passengers.

Deputy Economic Councilor at the Embassy, Mr Michael Carney, who made the call when he led his team on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr Hamisu Yadudu on Thursday, in Abuja, said that the current arrangement where transit international passengers would have to struggle to access the domestic terminal before flying to other destinations in the country was not good for its personnel.

He, therefore, urged the authority to take urgent action to address the situation, adding that the embassy was ready to provide technical support to FAAN, if called upon, as, according to him, the airport transfer in Lagos was not effective and convenient for travellers.

The councilor further noted that it was especially cumbersome to take another private transport in order to move from one terminal to another, just as he advised FAAN to provide authorised vehicle for the transfer of passengers between terminals at the airport.

“At US Embassy, we have many people who want to travel to Nigeria and often times they would want to combine trips. Some may be coming from South Africa, some from Uganda and different places. But my point is this; Abuja is very limited in the number of international flights.

“Trying to work schedules out is not as convenient as trying to get people to Lagos.

“The problem is that US government is not going to allow its personnel to go on public transport and find their way on public travel, to get away to Abuja. It is not going to happen for obvious reasons.

“Our request is that, if there are ways in which FAAN can mobilise transport between the various terminals, behind the secured parameter, to facilitate transfers of passengers even if they have to wait for an hour, it is okay.

“There should be some sort of route in which the bus can move from one terminal to the next.

“I just want to put the request to you, that at least it is in the interest of the country to facilitate passenger traffic, especially in Lagos, where you have the highest number of flights and passengers. But particularly for US government, we will directly benefit from that because we need to facilitate travels for our personnel who travel to Nigeria,” he said.

Responding, FAAN MD, Yadudu, assured the delegation that the authority had a plan to construct a short monorail, between the domestic and international terminals.

He said that the authority nevertheless, also had plans to do something as a palliative before such major project would be executed to facilitate passenger movements at the airport.

According to him, such development would make the airport more attractive to passengers because FAAN is for passengers and stakeholders.

Yadudu pledged that FAAN would take urgent steps to address the challenge.

“I am guaranteeing you that we will sit down and go through this, ahead of the completion of the expanded terminal.

“Ahead of the completion of the building, let us see how we can connect the airports, even if it is a shuttle service using luxury buses and create proper routes for them, where they can embark and disembark.

“In the next two months, we will keep you updated in case we might need some kinds of technical advice from you since you have the experience,” he said.

Yadudu also informed the delegation that the government had developed a plan on how to remodel the existing terminal when it moved operations to the new terminal.

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