Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of Terminal 2 at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, over the weekend, bemoaned failed kick off of regional flight operations in the terminal despite over N600 million investment by the company.
This is even as it disclosed that 5.9million passengers travelled through the airport in the last two years.
The MMA2 has been one of the busiest Airports in Africa for years, and despite a low turnover in 2023, due to low patronage from customers, there are significant improvements in services to ensure seamless travel.
Speaking on this development, during a tour of the facility with journalists, the head of Operation, BASL, Blessing Ewah, said 3.7 million passengers travelling by flight in 2021 Post-covid were facilitated while 2.2 million were facilitated in 2022.
He further stated that, a little above 1 million travellers have so far been facilitated in 2023, saying, drop in passenger traffic was a reflection of the economic situation of the country.
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However, after a ministerial committee on Airport Security in 2016 had certified the MMA2 fit for the commencement of regional operations, he said, the terminal will be ready for the commencement of regional flight operations.
Ewah said the company had complied with all regulatory requirements by clearly separating domestic from regional passengers and providing facilities for security and facilitation agencies such as immigration, quarantine officials, among others.
The official said, all the agencies, including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had assessed and approved the facilities after all necessary requirements were met, wondering why operations had yet to begin.
“We have invested over N600 million in the facilities for this operation and we have not recouped one Naira since it all started in 2014. We are actually ready, the terminal is ready, gates 5 and 6 have been dedicated for regional flights.
“We were shocked because the MMA2 terminal was built to provide services for both regional and domestic passengers, but it is presently underutilised. We had already spent several millions of Naira to acquire the state-of-the-art facilities in preparation for regional flight operations.
“However, the inconsistency in government policy despite the approval, had prevented it from using the facilities,” he said.