The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has initiated the process of the construction of a befitting corporate headquarters. In a statement signed by FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MrYakubuDati, the process has commenced with the invitation for competent and reputable companies to submit Expression of Interest (EOI), for the design and supervision of the construction of a new corporate headquarters for the organisation.

The project, which has been advertised publicly in several national dailies and the Federal Tenders’ Board Journal, would be funded through the Authority’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) budget for the year 2016.

According to the statement, submission of the ‘Expression of Interest’ for this project would close at exactly 11:30am on Monday, February 29, 2016.

It would be recalled that the Honourable Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. ChibuikeRotimiAmaechi, on his first visit to the corporate headquarters of FAAN, directed that the Authority commence the procedure for the building of a befitting corporate headquarters.

Meanwhile, the FAAN Managing Director, Engr Saleh Dunoma, has stated that the Katsina airport terminal would be commissioned any moment from now, as work at the terminal has been completed.

He also stated that  FAAN will continue to prioritise Safety and Security in line with international best practices. Speaking at the airport while inspecting the facility, he noted that the Authority is presently putting finishing touches in preparation for the final takeover of the New Terminal from the contractors. Engr Dunoma highlighted the strategic importance and relevance of the airport as an alternate airport to key airports in the northern part of the nation, stating that the terminal would add substantial value to the revenue generation drive of the organisation through annual hajj operations.

The MD was received on arrival by the Airport Manager, Bello Giyade, who led the inspection of facilities comprising the arrival and departure halls, scanning machines, conveyor belts and other facilities. The team of experts who accompanied the Managing Director included Engr NurudeenSalisuDaura, GM Electrical, Arc Niger Temlong, GM Procurement  and Zakari Mahmud, Regional General Manager, North,  among others.

The airport constructed in 1991 was being operated as airstrip before being upgraded to operate standard operations.

Also it is expected that the capacity of the Murtala Muhammed Airport is expected to double from the present 15 million passengers being handled by it annually to 30 million at the completion of the new terminal building under construction later in the year.

This fact was disclosed recently by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, MrYakubuDati, while briefing newsmen on preparations for the upcoming audit to be undertaken by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO next March.

According to him, at the completion of works on the nation’s new airport terminals being constructed by the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CCECC, especially the Murtala Muhammed International Terminal and NnamdiAzikiwe International Terminal it is expected that the capacity of airports to handle passengers will double from its present capacity.

Currently, he disclosed, FAAN handles 15 million passengers annually at the MMIA but there is a projection for an additional traffic of 15 million at same airport this year with the completion of the terminal in Lagos and Abuja as well as increment in other airports being constructed.

The spokesman expressed optimism about a safer and more secure navigation, stating that, travel will be exciting this year especially when the new terminals under construction are completed and passengers will have that experience they always enjoy outside our shores.

“With the completion of the new terminal in Lagos, the terminal will be able to process additional 15 million passengers which imply that we will able to service about 30 million passengers,” he said, pointing out that it is part of the plan raise aviation to a new level under this present administration in the course of the year.

On the preparation for the forthcoming ICAO audit, Dati revealed that what looked like a mock exercise towards the audit was conducted by the Airport Council International ACI team during their recent visit on theinvitationofFAAN Managing Director, Engineer Saleh Dunoma.

According to Dati, some of the gaps identified by the  ACI team in the area of facilities at our airports will be closed before the audit.

He expressed optimism that the country will scale through and was doing everything possible to ensure that the country will not disappoint our own Dr Bernard Aliu, a Nigerian who is ICAO’s current president.

On the certification of airports in the country, Dati said a team was working round the clock with other agencies to ensure that all gaps were closed.

While he advised airport users especially passengers not leave any luggage behind as any unattended luggage will be destroyed, Dati warned further that passengers should adhere strictly to airport rules and regulations and not to carry any luggage not belonging to them.

He also revealed that FAAN security operatives and other security agencies deployed detective machines such as screening machine, CCTV, full body scanners and personal intelligence to ensure easy facilitation of passengers.

Dati said security has been beefed up at airports across the country with a view to meeting the challenges ahead adding that FAAN was looking forward to partnering with investors as a result of dwindling resources in line with the minister’s statement.

He appealed to FAAN concessionaires especially airlines to pay their debts to agencies in order to enable them to continue rendering services to them.

He commended the ministers for their visits to the airports to acquaint themselves with facilities on ground with a view to addressing lapses.