Aviation Transport

FAAN bans MDA protocol officers from facilitating trips at airports

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has banned protocol officers of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) from facilitating trips by their principals and officials at airports across the country.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of FAAN, Olubunmi Kuku, during her maiden interactive session with the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and heads of security agencies under the auspices of the Airport Security Committee, on Monday.
The FAAN MD, in a press statement by the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah, decried the proliferation of protocol services by personnel of various agencies. She said it should be stopped immediately as it contravenes Executive Order 001 of 2017 of the Federal Government and undermines protocol activities of FAAN Protocol Unit and that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
According to Kuku, the MFA has the sole responsibility of attending to designated government officials and urged agencies to liaise with them when they need to facilitate trips by their Principals/Officials, while the Passenger Support Service (PSS) of FAAN handles corporate organisations as the services were being paid for.
Also, 11 months after shutting down runway 18R/36L at the Lagos Airport, she disclosed that the facility would soon open to airlines for use.
The runway 18R/36L was shut down in March 2023 for 8 weeks of repair, but the repair has been ongoing for 11 months with no specific fate of reopening.
Kuku assured the operators that Runway 18R, Link 3, and E Wing would be reopened in a few weeks.
Also, the FAAN boss called on airlines and security agencies at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Lagos to prioritise passenger facilitation. She asked them to see the airports as an integral part of their duties, saying passengers must have a good travelling experience.
Kuku also addressed the various concerns of the airports, especially the state of infrastructure, which she said may not change overnight, but in the interim, some stopgap measures are being put in place to create some comfort while the major issues are addressed gradually.
Regarding the security screening process, the MD advised that security agencies should be consolidated to ensure that passengers undergo one seamless screening process. The fact that presently passengers have to undergo multiple screening layers, she added, leaves them with a bad travel experience.
The Airline Operators also shared their pain points with the MD/CE. They mentioned issues with the baggage belts and the entire Baggage Handling System (BHS), the reopening of the E Wing, payment for Avio Bridges that are not working properly, general ambiance of the airports, and so on.
Some of the operators thanked the FAAN MD/CE for her considerate approach in getting them involved in her plans for the Airport.
In her response, Mrs. Kuku emphasised her belief in the system of honesty and accountability and apologised for all the inconveniences that have been endured by the airlines. She assured the operators that Runway 18R, Link 3, and E Wing would be reopened in a few weeks. She added that the replacement of BHS is underway.
On the issue of Service Legal Agreement (SLA) and contracts not revisited, the MD/CE promised to investigate and make appropriate consultations.

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