FEDERAL Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Management Taskforce has said it plans to correct negative perceptions about airport experiences as well as correct a myriad of anomalies connected with passenger experience
Managing Director FAAN, Captain Hamisu Yadudu who led the taskforce yesterday to interact with other agencies and service providers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos disclosed that this move was borne out of the negative experiences observed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu , where service delivery was at a very low ebb.
Represented by the General Manager, Customers Service /SERVICOM, Ebele Okoye, the FAAN boss said that the department was actually out for awareness and sensitization but that the Taskforce found out that Enugu Airport was operated more as a domestic airport instead of an international terminal.
Okoye stated that it was also discovered that interaction of agencies with passengers on service delivery were unhealthy and was not an acceptable global practice and that management was consulted and approval was granted.
She added that at Enugu Airport passengers were subjected to severe unhealthy searches and also kept on queue after arrival for hours under the pretense of searching for hard drugs.
Passengers, she explained were meant to declare all currencies even when they have less than the acceptable $10,000, adding that they also go through one on one search to ascertain that no other currency is hidden inside their bodies.
Speaking further Okoye said that the Taskforce also observed that many agencies were found at the scanner on entering the airport which was against the Ease of Doing Business rules of the President.
Other issues which the Taskforce found out includes agencies that were supposed to be on surveillance were all found searching passengers bags ,many unaccompanied baggage were passed through carousel for clearing which damaged FAAN facilities, there were obvious begging , extortion of personal effects and money from passengers..
The General Manger posited that based on the above discoveries at Enugu Airport, FAAN management gave approval to the Taskforce to visit Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja Airports to interact with the passengers.
She added that the group has since visited these airports and that there was huge success in the passengers, staff, and stakeholders interface.
Okoye contended that airport business is a global phenomenon and must be seen as such no matter the localization .
In his words, “Our emphasis will be on quality service delivery at airports. As persons providing service at airports, do you understand your core assignment? Do you apply it to the success of the operation and to the comfort of the passengers?
On bribery and corruption at airport, which according to her has been on the front burner, she said “We must do all that is within our power to correct those negative conceptions about airport workers. We have come to partner with you also to solicit your cooperation and understating.
She reminded the gathering that in all these safety is priority and must be in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) provisions and global best practice
The interactive session which attracted personnel from Police, Immigration, Aviation Security, Civil Defence, FAAN Aerodrome Fire , towing company and other organisations at the airport .