Owners of abandoned aircraft parked at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, have been directed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to remove them from the aprons of the airport in order to create space for other serviceable and functional aircraft.

The agency also offered the owners of the unused aircraft to move them to less busy airports like Ilorin, Enugu, Port Harcourt and others without additional cost and charge from FAAN.

The Regional Manager, South West, Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, made appeal today during the tour of the Lagos Airport facility.

Shin-Aba explained that FAAN has space constraints at the airport, lamenting that despite this, some airline operators prefer to park their unused aircraft at the airside under the claim that Lagos is their operational base.

She explained further that the agency was planning to build additional apron at the airport, which would be ready very soon.

She emphasised that FAAN has about “32 international airlines flying into Nigeria, around 272 international aircraft movement daily for both arrival and departure”.

“On the domestic scene, we have 27 arrivals and 32 departures, while we have 30 cargo arrivals and 28 departures,” she said.

“At our cargo apron, the capacity is meant to take four aircraft at least two wide-bodied aircraft and two smaller aircraft at the same time. Once in a while we have more than capacity, once this place is filled up, we take the cargo flights to the international airport and that is additional cost to the cargo airline as they need to deploy and truck their goods from international to cargo.

“This is why we need to create space for airlines. On the left is supposed to be the expansion and we are on it. Safety issues can also arise due to congestion, which is what happens most times. The expansion is looking at increasing the cargo apron to accommodate eight wide-bodied aircraft. So when work commences that is what we are looking at.”

She added that FAAN was reaching out to the owners of the abandoned aircraft on the possibility of removing them, stressing that there was no to amend the agency’s bylaw, which allows aircraft owners to park their abandoned airplanes at the airside endlessly.

The current bylaw, according to her, came into effect in 2005.

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