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Amid consternation and frustration that trail the relocation of all international flights from the old terminal at the intentional wing of Murtala Muhamed Airport, Lagos State, to the new terminal building, the federal government has set up a task force to resolve the challenges created by the decision.
Since the sudden relocation of the foreign flights to the new terminal, which has attracted complaints from passengers and airport users due to lack of provision for aviobridges and other inconveniences caused by the impromptu relocation, international flights have encountered various disruptions like flight delays and cumbersome processing and profiling of passengers.
To tackle the challenges, the minister of aviation, Mr Festus Keyamo, has set up a task force to cushion the effects.
According to a statement issued by the Head, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Oluseyi Odutayo, “The Minister, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, concerned about the teething problems of relocating the international airlines to the new terminal, which was necessitated by the recent fire outbreak at the Old International Terminal in Lagos, has set up a task force to resolve these challenges within the shortest possible period.
“The members of the task force are: Engineer Hassan Musa, retired Permanent Secretary and ex-director of the Department of Air Transport Management (Team Leader), Adebayo Oladipo, General Manager Aerodrome NCAA, and Mr. Collins Mukoro (SA to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development).
Other members of the task force are Mrs. Uyoyou Edhekpo (SA to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development) and Mr. Henry Agbebire (SA to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development).
The Minister, during his maiden inspection of the Lagos Airport on Thursday, August 31, 2023, had given a deadline of October 1, 2023, for the relocation.
However, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had to fast-track the implementation of this directive in response to the recent fire outbreak, which raised safety concerns and affected passengers’ movements in the old terminal building.
While urging all passengers and other stakeholders to be patient and bear with the government on the inconvenience caused, which will soon be resolved, the government called for understanding, which plays a vital role in making the transition smoother for everyone involved.
The primary objectives of the task force, which are threefold, include the mandate to resolve passenger concerns while working diligently towards resolving all concerns raised by passengers regarding congestion, discomfort, and related issues stemming from terminal relocation. We are committed to ensuring that every passenger’s voice is heard and addressed promptly.
The task force is also charged with minimising discomfort, with a focus on minimising any form of discomfort during this transition period. Efforts are made to streamline processes at both terminals while closely monitoring operations 24/7. Measures such as enhanced signage, dedicated support staff, and improved communication channels will be implemented proactively.
Also spelt out in the mandate was effective public communication: “We pledge transparency throughout this process by providing regular updates on progress made in addressing concerns arising from airline relocations.
FAAN aims at improving public relations strategies through various channels, including online platforms and customer service helplines so that you stay informed about developments firsthand.”
The Minister, however, extended his deepest regrets over the inconvenience caused and assured all travellers that “we are fully committed to resolving these concerns promptly. We pledge our commitment to passenger comfort, safety, and overall satisfaction during this transitional period.”