A high level talk is about to be held between incoming administration in Lagos state and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to facilitate the Agency’s strategic long and short term plans to develop infrastructure at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
To this end the FAAN would meet this week with the incoming Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu to discuss collaboration of the agency with Lagos State in the provision of inter-modal rail system that would link the domestic wing of the Lagos with the international wing.
The cost of the project is yet unknown, but experts said the project could gulp several millions of dollars when terms are agreed by the two bodies.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma who was represented by Director for Finance and Accounts for FAAN, Mrs. Nike Aboderin who stated this at the 6th Airport Business Summit held at the weekend in Lagos said that the cost of providing infrastructure involves a lot of funds.
The FAAN boss further disclosed that with an estimated national population of about 200 million, the potentials and opportunities in the industry are limitless, stressing that as it stands, the Nigerian aviation industry contributes over $1 billion to the national economy annually, with over half a million direct and indirect jobs created through airport and air transport services.
With the vast geographical land size of Nigeria and the growing population predicated to become the 5th largest nation in the world before 2050, Dunoma disclosed that Nigeria would need to depend strongly on good air transport system to keep pace with development and to accelerate economic growth.
He stated that in the last five years, air traffic in Nigeria has been on the upward trajectory, with annual average of eight per cent as against the global average of 5.8 per cent.
Moreover, the renewed regional drive for a Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), he reiterated would further put pressure on demand.
To him, the Nigerian aviation industry must therefore continue to reposition itself to show leadership in the African aviation community by making sure her indigenous airlines are competitive and supported by efficient airport services.
Saleh stated that it is based on the aforementioned that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is working relentlessly to expand, develop and improve on airport infrastructure across the nation.
He said over the past four years, the Federal Government through FAAN had invested massively in reconstruction and upgrade of airport terminals across the 20 commercially managed airports.
‘We are doing strategic plan for infrastructure at many of the airports considered viable. We are meeting with the incoming governor of Lagos state next week (This week) hold discussions on infrastructure. We want rail to go through the local wing of the Lagos airport to the international wing and link the city with the airport much later when the major rail project come on stream’.
Inter-modality is the use of several transport modes in one trip when the transport modes are coordinated. This coordination is made thanks to adequate intermodal infrastructure, and to intermodal agreements concluded by transport operators.
These agreements for instance allow a common reservation for the whole trip, coordinated time-tables, a common checking, the certainty to travel to the final destination despite delays faced by one or several transport modes during the trip, among others.
The Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos is poorly planned. Most times intending travellers are see mounting motor bike when the access roads linking Ikeja and Oshodi to the airport are blocked.
There are indications that the airport authority wants to emulate the massive rail transport system in Abuja which would make passengers commuting easier.
It serves as a connecting link between the Abuja capital city and the surrounding satellite towns and communities when fully completed. In other words, it integrates the entire Federal Capital Territory, as well as provides easy access to visitors from across the country.
He categorised infrastructure at an airport into two broad categories that include airside infrastructure and landside infrastructure, hinting that airside infrastructure accommodates and facilitates the movement of aircraft around the airport and includes facilities like aircraft parking aprons, taxiways, airfield lights and signs, navigational and visual aids, runways and so on.
Landside infrastructure on the other, he said accommodates and facilitates the movement of ground-based vehicles and passengers which includes such facilities like access roads, parking lots, garages, aviation and non-aviation related businesses, support and terminal buildings.
‘In terms of cost, globally, whether airside or landside, development of these facilities is capital intensive. Consequently, airport managers are being faced with the challenges of attracting the needed finances to advance the development of aviation infrastructure’.