Airline Operators Write FAAN on Runway Closure

By Nosa Aituamen

The Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON has expressed disappointment over the closure of the local Runway of the Lagos airport for a week now with no evidence of maintenance work ongoing on the runway.

The runway was shut down on July 8 for the commencement of airfield ground lightning installation with a three months period completion time by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

In a letter to the Managing Director FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, the operators say, they have been burdened with huge but unnecessary additional costs and flight delays due to the closure.

They therefore called for the review of the runway closure, stressing that, in line with international best practice, runways of airports are only closed when there is no other option.

Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa, President AON says, an infrastructure project such as to be done on the runway, to limit the impact on flight operations, FAAN ought to have ensured that the contractor does the work at night, when the runway is not in use.

“If there is an absolute need for work to be done during daylight hours, then agreement should have been reached with the runway users on what time window would allow this”.

He stated that, the closure of the main domestic runway has automatically added an additional 10-15% more fuel costs per sector into and out of MMA, based on the additional flight and taxi time incurred as a result.

“The closure of Runway 18L has led to a chain of direct flight delays on a daily basis, impacting the entire system of scheduled domestic flights in the country. FAAN is aware that most domestic flights originate from or pass through MMA at some point every day. This is an unnecessary additional negative outcome for the industry”.

AON therefore requests FAAN to convene an urgent stakeholders consultation meeting to discuss the issue and assured FAAN of their commitment to partnering with them to install the long overdue runway lighting on Runway 18L, in line with accepted international best practice.

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