FAAN Withdraws Services From Lagos, Warri, Gombe Airports Over Debt

Barely 48 hours after SaharaReporters exclusively reported the threat by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to withdraw services from the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos over N1.9 billion debt, the agency has made good its threat.

A source close to FAAN told our correspondent on Sunday morning that its management had written a Notice To Air Men (NOTAM) to all airlines operating from the terminal on Saturday, informing them of its intention to withdraw services from the terminal, following the debt owed over a period of 11 years.

However, apart from MMA2, which is owed and operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), FAAN is also withdrawing services from Osubi Airport, Warri and Gombe Airport.

According to the NOTAM, FAAN would withdraw Aviation Security (AVSEC), marshallers and Fire/Safety services from MMA2 as from today.

On Friday, SaharaReporters had reported that FAAN had threatened to withdraw services from the terminal over N1,943,516.50 debt incurred since it commenced operations on September 8, 2007.

This time around, in a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BASL, dated November 3, 2018, personally signed by its Managing Director, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, FAAN claimed that since the organisation commenced operations in 2007, it was yet to remit any amount to its coffers as agreed in the contractual agreement.

The breakdown of the latest sum indicated that BASL as at July 31, 2018 owed FAAN N1,444,044,893.83 for provision of Aviation Security (AVSEC), another N143,466,896.96 for Fire/Safety Cost.

Others were for marshalling, N2,168,058.21 and management cost, which it put at N1,943,323,516.50.

In the letter to the management of BASL, FAAN also threatened to withdraw the services of its personnel from the terminal with effect from December 3, 2018 if the debt was not cleared.

Arik Air confirmed that it would relocate its services out of the affected airports until further notice.

Adebanji Ola, spokesman of the airline, said the airline would suspend its flights to Osubi Airport, Gombe Airport and move Port Harcourt flights out of MMA2 from Monday, until further notice.

Ola advised Warri passengers to use Benin Airport as alternative, while Gombe passengers were to use Bauchi Airport as alternate.

“All Arik Air flights to Omagwa Airport Port Harcourt will as from the same date operate from Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal One otherwise known as General Aviation Terminal (GAT). Arik Air regrets any inconvenience the closure of the three airports may cause its esteemed customers. The airline hopes the issue between FAAN and the airport authorities will be resolved soonest,” he added.

Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Public Affairs of FAAN, could not be reached for comments, while the phone number of the BASL spokesman was switched off.