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Babalakin expresses interest in ongoing airports concession, calls for regional flight approval implementation

From left: Group Executive Director, Resort International, Mr. Luqman Balogun; Chairman, Resort International/Bi Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin; Chairman, League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), Mr Segun Koiki Head of Business, Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA 2),Mr. Ralph Uchegbu, during the Media Interactive with Dr Wale Babalakin on the Operation and Activities of MMA2 in Lagos today Friday 15th October, 2021.
CHAIRMAN, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2), Dr. Wale Babalakin has said the operator is interested in the ongoing concession bidding for the four major airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Harcourt but has aired his reservation over the process.

This is just as he has said that government was subjecting airlines to incalculable loss and passengers to untold hardships by making them transit from MMA2 to the international to connect flights to the West Coast  and has called on the Federal Government to implement the approval granted it to commence Regional operations from its terminal to ease this burden.

Dr. Babalakin made these known in an interactive session with journalists at the Regional facility  of the MMA2 Terminal  stressing that as big as the terminal is, only about one -third of the place has been put into operation. READ MORE: Bi-Courtney appeals to NCAA to restore approval for regional operations

He said, “Before we talk about our own loss, what are the airlines losing? The airlines are bleeding because of the logistics nightmare of having to move from one terminal to the other just because we want to carry the same traffic. We are losing a lot of money because we invested a lot of money in creating regional wing on our platform but the exact amount we are losing I may not know off hand.

On the ongoing process to concession four of the major airports, he explained that in more organized climes, they would check the track records of those who have done it well and offer them a right of first refusal before opening the process, stressing that BASL has within its limited resources operated MMA2 for 14 years and have run the terminal well despite challenges it has come to face from government.

He asked for the success rate of the foreign bidders that have shown interest asking how far and well it has gone with other foreign concerns who have invested in the country and relocated one way or another, according to him, only Nigerian bidders who have capacity should be interested. READ MORE: Abuja closure: Bi-Courtney rejects GAT expansion, says facility ready for regional ops

On why he is still interested in bidding for a concession even after all the claims that the current concession with FAAN which is still generating controversy to date is not working, Dr. Babalakin said:

“BASL is interested in anything that is intelligent infrastructure development. I have had people say are you a business man? I am not a business man, I am a lawyer  and an infrastructure developer, I don’t trade, I don’t import and  export, what is my interest? Infrastructure development and that’s where you find me.

“So we are interested but we are more interested in the process leading to  the emergence and we believe that  we are entitled to be first option. In any very organized country, we would be given the first option,” he said.

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