IT is a known fact that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is a Federal Government organisation saddled with the responsibility of making the government’s 22 airports spread across the country comfortable and safe for all aviation activities.
In other words, it is the function of FAAN to see to the efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure including terminal buildings and other structures critical to airport safety and security for the purpose of making flight operations and other activities within the airports convenient.
With the obvious events that is unfolding, there is no doubt that the responsibility of making the airports safe and secure does not solely rest on FAAN after all, in view of the huge capital required to tackle the challenges including that of security.
In the face of the challenges and the regular criticisms from different people with genuine and unpatriotic motives, FAAN under the present management has not allowed the situation to weigh it down as it continues to make frantic efforts at raising the bar at the airports for the comfort of passengers.
To say FAAN has in the recent past achieved a lot in making the airports environment more conducive may not be an exaggeration as witnessed in the ability of the Mr Saleh Dunoma-led management to key into the policy of the present government on the ease of doing business to give travellers in particular better experience at the airports in addition to facilitating passengers’ movement process without any hurdle.
Confirming this, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, stated that in fulfilling the new policy on ease of doing business, that FAAN has already started changing the general ambience around the airport to completely wipe out the challenges that have been confronting passengers.
One of the areas FAAN is not taking for granted is the area of security as witnessed in number of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) security monitoring cameras acquired and deployed at the airports to ensure wider coverage and improve on security operations at the airports.
Besides this, three new baggage scanners have been installed in Lagos airport to replace manual searches and checking of luggage with the addition of ten patrol vehicles to the ones on the ground to tackle the issue of aircraft poaching or runway incursion which has been raising concern in the recent past.
As parts of the new security measures just introduced, FAAN, through its Aviation Security (AVSEC) directorate, has now streamlined the issuance of the On Duty Cards (ODC) which allows genuine personnel to access restricted areas as against the past experience when the opportunity was grossly abused.
Furthermore, still determined to reposition the airports for the convenience of the users, FAAN has also subscribed to an Airport Council International ( ACI) Program on Airport Service Quality that would aid the agency to improve on its services.
Speaking on this, the Managing Director, FAAN, said the Airport Service Quality Program (ASP) will help the authority to measure passengers reactions to all levels of its operations.
“This program is all about gathering data from the incoming and outgoing passengers on all aspects of our operations to help us improve our services through analysis of this data. The ASP is all about efficiency and how we respond to passengers stimuli.”
Even the wind of change blowing has not exempted the state of the convenience facilities at the airports as FAAN has started replacing the obsolete toilet facilities that had hitherto become a stigma.
The right granted FAAN by the Airports Council International (ACI) to host its 59th ACI, Africa Board and Regional Committees Meetings, Conference & Exhibition coming up in Lagos, between the 14th and 20th April 2018 is the icing on the cake.
The event which will bring over 300 experts in various aviation fields will further enable FAAN and other aviation authorities to exchange ideas with other countries coming in the areas of security and training for the purpose of putting into practice the fresh ideas that will be gathered at the global event.
In the words of the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN: “Most of the things we are doing are not things you can visibly see or quantify but they are quite important. As it is now, we are trying to improve security, we are fencing our airports and adding more surveillance, putting up closed-circuit television (CCTV) all over and we are gathering and sharing information. We are doing the fencing of airports not everyone will see that and then there is massive training of staff for everyone who has access to the airport, all this is to entrench safety.”
Without doubt, the government’s ease of doing business is working at the airports simply because the airport managers, the FAAN wasted no time in understanding it and swiftly embraced it with the result being the new lease of life the airports especially the international ones are presently being given.
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