Saturday, December 3, 2022

Abuja airport celebrates 40th anniversary with introduction of Park and Pay system

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By Halimat O. Shittu – The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has officially launched the pay parking system at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, as part of activities to mark its 40th anniversary.

Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, the FAAN Regional General Manager, Kabir Mohammed, said the system would address parking indiscriminately in the airport and further add to the ambience of the airport.

Mr Mohammed, however, said that the operation will take effect from October 1, when an undisclosed amount would be paid.

According to him, the management of FAAN intensified efforts to ensure that staff were as disciplined and highly professional as possible at their duties` posts.

He said that the authority was also making efforts to ensure airport users abide by rules and regulations.

“We are inculcating a level of discipline whereby staff are said to be as professional as possible.

“We make sure that airport users also live within those rules and regulations that guide their usage of the airport,“ he said.

Earlier, the FAAN Managing Director, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, applauded the yearly increase in passenger traffic at the airport, saying that as of August 2022, NAIA has processed 3,247,484 domestic and 638, 502 international passengers.

Mr Yadudu, who was represented by the FAAN Director of Airport Operation, Capt. Muktar Muye, affirmed that the airport had eight domestic airlines operating with a daily average of 65 flights and 11,774 passengers and 12 international carriers with an average of 10 flights and 3,034 passengers daily.

“NAIA is not just one of Nigeria’s most important airports in terms of positioning, capacity and revenue generation; it is also the airport that serves Nigeria’s FCT, the seat of national governance, so it is both strategic and highly significant.

“Just like the stages in the product life cycle, a concept in marketing; which are introduction, growth, maturity and decline, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja came into being 40 years ago.

“I am glad that the airport has continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then,“ he said.

According to him, in the year 2021 for example, a total of 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the airport, which was a whopping 37.23 per cent increase on the year 2020 figures.

On facility upgrade, Mr Yadudu said the airport had been quite progressive notwithstanding that the airport was closed to flight operations for comprehensive runway rehabilitation in 2017.

He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government completed and commissioned a world-class, brand new international terminal with a passenger processing capacity of 15million per annum at NAIA in 2018.

“Terminal D of the airport was also completed and commissioned, while the airport has been linked to the railway line in Abuja, making for seamless movement of passengers to and from the airport.

“Additionally, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audited the airport and certified it safe and secure for flight operations, with 96 per cent score in 2018.

“The process of recertification has commenced and it’s currently ongoing. The Federal Government has also approved the construction of the second runway for the NAIA, the trajectory of progress has been upward ever since.

“Passengers and stakeholders have commended the level of facilities and service delivery at the airport. NAIA was adjudged the `Best Airport in Safety for the year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region,“ he said.

He added that the airport also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, amongst several others.

He affirmed that NAIA would continue to wax stronger and stronger as it was celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Mr Yadudu also commended the invaluable contributions of partners and stakeholders, the past and the present FAAN staff in the last 40 years.

“The milestone being celebrated today could not have been achievable without your hard work and cooperation. A line in the first stanza of Nigeria’s National Anthem states ‘Labour of our Heroes Past, Shall Never Be in Vain’.

“So, as we continue to celebrate this notable feat, I want to charge you all to continue to strive harder to deliver the best possible service to our highly esteemed passengers at this airport.

“I urge you all the stakeholders to progressively consolidate on the labour of our heroes past in this airport.

“We must continue to improve on our service delivery. I am confident that the NAIA, and other airports in Nigeria will be ranking amongst the best of airports in the world, in no distant time,“ he added.

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