Sunday , 14 August 2022

FAAN soon to acquire visual, thermal cameras to elevate airfield surveillance

Murtala Muhammed International Airport
  • Says agency has identified gaps but government processes takes time
FEDERAL Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said it is on the verge of taking delivery of visual and thermal cameras and other security equipment including motorized surveillance equipment to raise security at the nation’s major airports.

Managing Director, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, who disclosed this at an interactive session with the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) during the week, said it had  identified various gaps over the years and has solutions for those problems but because FAAN is an agency of government, unlike the private sector, some of those solutions take time to acquire and implement.

According to him, FAAN identified the security problem and started working out the process to procure the equipment in 2018, but it was only approved in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari and it has gone on to procure the airfield surveillance equipment from a German company, and would be delivered in the next two months.

Yadudu, “We have resolved the security issue and the manifestation is on ground. In that singular incident of a mangled body found on the runway, there is still an investigation ongoing, but we can’t make any public statement until the result of the investigation is out. There are a lot of theories on it. I won’t dwell much on this until the report of the investigation is out.

“However, government processes and due process are necessary and also matter in all we do. A private airport can have a problem today and by tomorrow, it can deploy the solutions to it. We know the solutions to the problems we have, but we have to ensure that the due processes are followed for us to implement them.

“Additional issues arise when you have to bring the equipment from abroad; there is manufacturing, shipping, and others. Some things you can know, identify them and before you can ensure a solution, it may take you up to a year.

“I was a Director of Operations in FAAN when we realised there is the need for total surveillance for the whole airport. I went to Munich, Germany by the end of 2018 or so, and identified the company; they came to do lead assessment twice; marking and survey.

“They gave us the estimate for visual and thermal infrared cameras – visuals to cover the areas for a whole day – sunrise to sunset and thermal from sunset to early morning. If a rabbit is walking within an 8km radius, which is 16km in diameter, they will pinpoint it. The runway is 3.7km or 3.8km and we are buying about four of those cameras to cover the airfield.

We started procurement and the Minister of Aviation was very supportive. As of now, the procurement has been concluded and Mr. President approved it last year, part-payment has already been made to the manufacturer. The Chief of Staff and I went to the factory to ensure that what we are buying is what we are getting. We were there last November.

“The delivery will happen within the next one or two months and then installation follows. This is fully automated; it will be spanning 360 degrees. We already know the solutions to all the challenges we are going through, the minister knows and even Mr. President knows, too,” said Yadudu.

He added that before the installation of the cameras, the Authority has deployed motorized equipment and military personnel for manual patrol at the airfield side of the Lagos and Abuja airports.

“In the meantime, we already set up the manual patrol; the military is going around the airport facilities for improved security. This automation is not just in Lagos, but it includes Abuja airport.

“We also bought two motorised equipment. If you have any security challenges at any airport, we will drive it there and deploy it. Inside the vehicle, we have three screens that we can use to monitor and protect the airports,” said Yadudu.


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