MANAGING director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu said the airport managers were on the verge of re-certifying the Murtala Muhammed and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airports Lagos and Abuja respectively stressing that the effects of the COVID-19 break also affected the recertification.
This is just as he has attributed the reduction of airports incursion including alleged theft at the air side to a dynamic airport security system that is functional and constantly evolving to meet clear and present threats.
Captain Yadudu made this known at the weekend while announcing the Airports Council International (ACI-Africa) approved the maiden ACI-Africa Security Week with theme: “Promotion of Security Culture in African Airports” to be celebrated across all member airports from 25th to 28th October, 2021.
According to Yadudu, FAAN is also equally committed to certifying the airports at Enugu, Port Harcourt and Kano but stressed that the revenues dwindled due to the pandemic but assured that it was doing its best to remedy that.
Yadudu said,”We are on the verge of re-certifying Lagos and Abuja and we are equally committed to certify Enugu, Port Harcourt and Kano airports, but there are various technical requirements and conditions involved that it is only when you are involved that you will fully appreciate the enormity of the work. But, the fact that we did Lagos and Abuja, we will surely do the others. It is a commitment.
“The issue that slowed us down is the Covid-19 pandemic; suddenly, the whole world was grounded to a halt, not just FAAN or NCAA. That unfortunately affected our revenues; it was down to about 2 to 3 per cent revenue at a time and we tried to survived it.
“Just yesterday (Thursday), an ICAO instructor called me that they just started moving about two weeks ago. So, certification involving our own team within Nigeria are working. But the fact is that we are still in the Covid-19, even though it is now under control, but Covid-19 affected a lot of things that we had planned to do last year in our airports.
“In fact as of now, every Wednesday, our team meets with the NCAA team and every two days, the certification team of each airport meet. We have a standing team working, they know the process and the extent they need to be working, but they had to wait for Covid-19 to go away.
On airport security and how FAAN has been able to curtail incursion, Yadudu explained that in as much as security was not static, the airport managers were constantly trying to improve on their situational tactics to be ahead.
He said,”We have a lot of people who have access to the airport. Naturally, security is not a static process, but a living process. We may have a security today that is 100 per cent and in the next one hour, you will have a report that there is a new danger, breach or a new possibility. So, security is like a race, but what we do is to be far ahead in the race.
“So, when we have those issues and some attempted to breach the security about two years ago, we did a very thorough risk assessment and what we found out prompted us to enhance security, increase the heights of the fence, improve on the sensitization generally.
“What we do is apart from our increased surveillance, training and equipment, we do a lot of sensitization because even people working within the airport environment need to be more sensitized. We get reports and our personnel have increase on their surveillance.”