Nigeria to launch new international airports next year
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been applauded for the consistency and progress of work so far at the new terminal projects in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello, who praised the agency for the project advancement, expressed the hope that with the current pace of work, the projects would be completed as scheduled. In 2012 federal government secured a loan of $500 million from Chinese Exim Bank to build the new terminals and the projects are expected to be delivered early next year. FAAN is also working at other terminal projects which are yet to be completed but the pace of work is in correspondence to the availability of funds as the agency is sourcing funds from internal sources to complete the projects.
Speaking on the new terminals, Bello said that when completed the facilities would elevate the standard of the international airports and the modern facilities that would be installed would ease passenger facilitation and would also curb delays as the international terminals would now have more boarding points. “I think it is in the contract agreement that the new terminals would be completed in the first quarter of 2016 and following the progress of work, despite the hiccups here and there because of rainy season and other challenges. I think they lost about 325 man hours the last time I went there. They have closed it by working overtime and they have assured me they will deliver this project by April,” Bello said. THISDAY gathered that the new terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano have capacity of 10 million passengers per annum and each one would have at least four avio bridges, while the current international terminal in Kano would be used for hajj operations, the current international terminal in Lagos would be dovetailed with the new one and the two would serve as international terminal.
Also, the terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja would be fully utilised for international service while the existing one would be wholly used as domestic terminal. The one in Port Harcourt would provide succour for international travellers as the old terminal that was undergoing rehabilitation was abandoned due to financial crunch, although passengers commend the quality of work done so far in the terminal that is currently being used both as domestic and international terminals. On whether work would be completed at the new terminals at the same time, the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma said some would be completed before others but expressed optimism that the last one would be completed by June next year. “There will be disparities because of weather differences and shipment conditions and delays. The new international terminal in Kano will be the new international terminal and the old international terminal will be used for Hajj operations and domestic operations.
We are going to have four avio-bridges in the terminal and two in the old international terminal. The new international terminal will take 10 million passengers per annum. “All the new terminals are at various stages of completion. If you go to Port Harcourt they are roofing, Kano is roofing, Abuja just started roofing; Lagos is slightly behind because of the problem we had at the beginning with the siting of the terminal but they are also trying to catch up. Either Enugu or Kano will be finished first,” Dunoma said.