FG suspends Nigeria Air, to close Lagos Airport Old Terminal Oct 1

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All international airlines using the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos are anticipated to transfer to the new terminal building on October 1, 2023, replacing the old international terminal building, which will be closed for repairs.

Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo revealed this during a tour of the aviation facilities at the Lagos airport on Thursday, Festus Keyamo.

In addition, Keyamo vowed improvements for the aviation industry.

He claims that all agreements made under his predecessor Hadi Sirika, including the proposed Nigeria Air, have been suspended to allow for an accurate audit of the contracts.

The minister, who also boarded a bus to check the airport’s perimeter fence, declared that aviation safety is his first concern.

According to him,“The major complaint of Nigerians or foreigners coming into the country has been about the old terminal. That terminal is an eyesore. And we have this new terminal that the Chinese built. Nigerians have been asking why the new terminal is not put into use. The simple reason is that I don’t know how this new terminal was designed. It has a provision to take big planes. I don’t know how it happened. I’ve been asking questions about how they would design an international gateway like the Lagos terminal without a provision to take the big planes; it doesn’t have the avio-bridges that can link to the big planes.

Speaking further, he said, “That has been the reason why we have not been using this new terminal and that’s why Nigerians have been asking that question. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the revenue of FAAN comes from the Lagos airport. The Lagos gateway is one of the major gateways in the country. So what is the solution to this? We have said we must use what we have for now. I’m giving the international and all the other airlines up to October 1 to move from the old terminal to the new terminal. What we are going to do temporarily is that we are going to shut down the old terminal and sort out all the issues regarding the renovation of the old terminal.”

Speaking on the Nigerian Air project, Keyamo revealed that he had suspended the project.

“There are issues already on the ground before I came; concession and all of that. For now, I have suspended all of that until I brief the president as to what is happening regarding all those noises going on, including the issue of Nigeria Air. I have given them the directive to suspend everything until I brief Mr President fully.

“For now, the temporary arrangement we want to make, and for the comfort of Nigerians, we have to find a way to use the new terminal built by the Chinese even without the big planes coming in because there are no aviobridges for them to use and the gate bridge for the passengers to pass.  So like it’s done in many other countries we are going to do emergency procurement to buy the big buses. So we are going to put them in buses and move them to where the big planes stop in an orderly fashion, both the arrival and departure so that Nigerians can have some sort of comfort with this new facility.”

He added, “The long term plan is that we are going to find a way to build aviobridges for the big planes coming in and that means that some of those private hangars will have to go for public purpose. If we have to do anything for them, we will relocate them so that we can have a beautiful and functional gateway to Nigerians.”

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