The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has employed over 300 aviation security and airport rescue fire fighting officers, in a move to address manpower gap.
Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, the agency’s spokesperson said, this is as a result of the fact that this year, many senior and middle cadre staff are expected to retire service.
To bridge the anticipated manpower gap, FAAN is training its technical personnnel, including aviation security and airport fire rescue workers.
According to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, FAAN requires no fewer than 1,500 aerodrome rescue and fire fighting officers.
The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos requires a minimum of 160 fire fighters, it was learnt.
In an interview, she said the authority is working hard for its safety certification audit at the Lagos and Abuja Airports in the year.
Mrs Yakubu said key operational officers, especially from the Aviation Security and Fire Rescue departments, had been trained to enhance their efficiency.
The training of such personnel, it was learnt, came on the heels of shortage of aerodrome safety and fire fighting personnel far below those required by the ICAO.
She said: “Reports from the audits conducted in the last one year showed a remarkable improvement in our level of compliance with regulatory requirements. There is no doubt that a lot still needs to be done but statistics show that we are on upward swing.’’
Yakubu said: “ In the last few years, the number of serviceable fire hydrant systems at our airports has increased. New firemen have also been recruited, trained and redeployed to airports, according to their manpower needs, in line with ICAO recommendations.”
She said FAAN would address the gaps in airport infrastructure to consolidate its performance in the pass the ICAO universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP).
The FAAN spokesperson said the authority had started the migration to a new independent power source at the Lagos Airport with the acquisition of six new generators to resolve the power challenges at the terminal.
Mrs Yakubu said: “We are pursuing the entrenchment of safety and security as core values as an airport organisation by ensuring that the right facilities are installed to speed up baggage facilitation and ensure passenger convenience and comfort.”