29 May: Anxiety as FAAN orders removal of Aircraft from Abuja terminal


The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has ordered airline operators and Aircraft owners to relocate their aircraft from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, to alternate airports.

According to report, the directive, which this is as a result of preparations for the May 29 inauguration, is causing uneasy calm among operators in the industry.

FAAN, in a circular dated May 8, and issued on Tuesday, stated that the May 29 presidential inauguration is a high security event, which safety and security must be enhanced.

The circular with reference number: FAAN/ABJ/NAIA /RGM/NC/AM/1000/VOl-1 signed by the Regional General Manager (North Central) and NAIA Airport Manager, Kabir Mohammed, reads:

“This is to inform you of a need to temporarily relocate your aircraft to alternate airports due to upcoming Presidential inauguration slated for May 29th 2023.

“The Presidential inauguration is a high security event, and in order to ensure the safety and security of parties involved, it has become necessary to temporarily relocate all aircraft parked at the GAT to alternate airports.

“To this end, you are kindly requested to relocate your aircraft on or before 22 May, 2023.

“We understand that this may cause some inconvenience for you, however, the safety and security of all individuals involved in this event are our top priority. We believe that this temporary relocation is the best course of action in line with best international practices.”

Already, some operators are expressing anger over the directive, considering the logistics involved in relocating the aircraft.

“Quite sad, one can only imagine the line of thought of the initiator of this memo or the people involved in the discussion that led to the issuance of this memo,” one stakeholder said, adding, “Will the unserviceable aircraft be towed Away? Will FAAN pay for the fuel wears and tears for relocation and also pay for landing and parking at those alternate airports? Lastly, the letter did not state when are the aircraft required to return back to Abuja.”

Another aviation stakeholder, Comrade Olayinka Abioye said, “I do not see anything untoward in FAAN letter since it also admonishes anyone with questions or concerns to approach them for further discussion.”

Another operator said FAAN failed to consider the cost of relocating an Aircraft, crewing, provision of security, Parking charges?