‘Power outage at Lagos airport will soon be history’

Any time from now, the problem of power outage ravaging the Murtala Muhammed International Airport will soon be history as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has installed heavy industrial generators that has the capacity to produce more than twice the power requirements of the entire Lagos airport.

Declaring this in an interview with the Tribune Aviation, the General Manager, Corporate Communications at FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, though attributed the constant power problem at the airport to what she called teething issues arising from system upgrading, added that the menace will soon be forgotten.

“What has been playing out at the Lagos airport with respect to power can best be described as teething issues arising from system upgrading. The Federal Airports Authority recently contracted Mantrac-Caterpillar to supply and install heavy industrial generators that has the capacity to produce more than twice the power requirements of the entire airport. The generators have been delivered, installed and they are now operational.

“The authority is presently at the stage of migrating from the old system to the new with respect to cabling, consequently the minor hitches being experienced here and there.

However, I am happy to inform you that in the next few weeks, the entire process will be completed and power outages will be a thing of the past at the airport.”

She used the occasion to insist that the Lagos airport contrary to the allegations that it is porous was safe in line with international standards.

“First of all, I beg to disagree with the opinion that the Lagos airport and other airports in Nigeria are porous. Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), talks about security requirements for every category of airports globally. I want to assure you that at the Lagos and other airports across the country, we ensure strict compliance with all these provisions and that is why we have been excelling in all security and safety audits being conducted at our airports, whether by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, or ICAO.

“Our airports are very safe and we will continue to ensure that the safety of airport users is given maximum priority at all times,” she said.

She, however, described the recent confirmation of the FAAN Managing Director, Mr Saleh Dunoma, as a testimony to the effect that “we are on the right path and the Federal Government of Nigeria is happy with what we are doing.

“Our aims and objectives have not changed, we will continue to intensify our efforts towards improving on the safety and security of all airports and airport users across the nation. All our efforts and programs will be geared towards achieving this. This is our primary assignment and ultimate focus.”

This is just as she said that the ongoing construction of new terminals at the Lagos airport and other airports across the country under the partnership between Nigeria and Chinese government has reached advanced stage assuring that government will start the commissioning of the airports very soon.