Outage disrupts operations at Lagos Airport
FAAN apologises, says construction work damaged power cables
Operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, were for several hours grounded on Monday due to outage.However, General Manager, Public Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, said yesterday that the frequent outages were due to the construction at the new international terminal next to the MMIA.
The outage threw the facility into darkness till 3:00 p.m. and airport officials had to plead with angry passengers until power was restored by 7: 00p.m.The Guardian learnt that the screening and immigration procedure of passengers, both inbound and outbound, had to be done manually and under intense heat in the terminal.
When our correspondent visited the terminal at nightfall, scheduled operations had resumed with queues of outbound passengers longer than usual, even as the departure time approached.
One of the passengers, Gloria Richards, said it was unfortunate that the problem of outage kept recurring at the airport, the busiest in the country.Richards said: “It was a terrible sight to behold and a shame to this country. I have been to many countries in Africa and I have never seen anything like this mess called Lagos airport.”
A similar outage was experienced two weekends ago, leaving hordes of passengers stranded on Saturday night.Some foreign airlines had in fact petitioned the Ministry of Transportation over appalling facilities at virtually all the airports across the country.
The carriers urged the Federal Government to work towards giving better services to airline operators, passengers and others, carrying out both aeronautic and non-aeronautic businesses at the terminal.
Dati explained that construction workers at the location where the new terminal is being built mistakenly excavated cables buried underground that provide power.He said: “Our engineers are urgently rectifying the damage of two 11 KVA underground cables located within the construction premises of the new international terminal.
“FAAN would relocate the cables out of the construction site to prevent re-occurrence and we crave your indulgence while that is being done. The Authority apologises for the inconvenience caused to airlines, passengers and the general public.”
Dati said “Once we move the cables from the construction site we are sure we would have stable electricity supply at the airport, but to permanently meet the growing demand and in view of the rapid and continuous increase of activities in the near future, we are installing the 500 KVA transformer.”