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FAAN calls for new international airport in Lagos

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Despite palliative measures from the Federal Government to sustain the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, indications have shown that the terminal can no longer work effectively.

Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadudu, who described the airport facilities as obsolete, insisted yesterday on the need for a new international airport in the state.

He said all measures put in place at the terminal could no longer work, insisting that the country needed a new terminal in Lagos.

At the ongoing FAAN’s National Aviation Conference, FNAC2 in Abuja, Yadudu said: “We need to construct a new Lagos international airport terminal. This entire palliative cannot work. All components are obsolete.

“The baggage landing, runway, and central cooling system, among others, are more than 40 years old and should be replaced.

“Nigerians who travel through the airport in Lagos have also lamented the depreciation of facilities at the terminal, which makes travel a horrible experience.

“Passengers have also decried the limited capacity of the terminal, the broken down air conditioning system, and the obsolete carousel -the conveyor belt- which fails to work most of the time.

“When the international terminal for the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos was built and commissioned in 1979, it was planned to be used by one million passengers per annum.

”Today, it records passenger movement of 12 million per annum, but there is no additional facility to take care of the growing number of passengers that have far outstripped the projection of the planners.

“Another uncomplimentary fact is that renovations and maintenance of airport facilities are few and far between and such efforts were usually criticised by passengers who could not stomach the decay of the airport infrastructure”.

Yadudu disclosed that the passengers’ traffic report available to him showed that the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri has the highest traffic figure in South East, while Lagos ranks highest in South West and Abuja, the lead in the North with the potential to top Lagos in domestic passengers’ traffic soon.

“Owerri is one of our big earners in South East. Abuja is about overtaking Lagos in domestic traffic and that is understandable because Abuja is at the centre and very strategic”.

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