BASL rues delay in MMA2 regional operations, drop in passenger traffic
About eight years of awaiting approval to roll out regional operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal II (MMA2), Bi-Courtney Aviation Service Limited (BASL) has regretted delays of the high-end operations and attendant underutilisation of the facility.
BASL, which owns and operates the MMA2 terminal in Lagos, said investments of over N600 million are still idle at the regional section of the terminal.
The setback notwithstanding, the management said it remains committed to offering “more than just a terminal” experience to all categories of users.
On the tour of the facility recently, Head of Operations BASL, Blessing Ewah, said all the regulatory agencies had assessed and approved the facility after all requirements were met.
The Guardian, however, learnt that the delay in final approval was not unconnected with the proximity between the regional and domestic travellers.
Ewah, however, said: “We are ready, the terminal is ready, gates 5 and 6 here have been dedicated for regional flights. We have invested over N600 million in the facilities for this operation and we have not recouped one naira since it all started in 2014,” he said.
He added that everything requested for and required according to standards for regional operations is in place. “The infrastructure is still in place. We are positive; it will be a beautiful thing for us to start regional operations this year,” he said.
When it comes upstream, the regional operations promise a boost in occupancy rate, passenger traffic and earnings of both the operator and ancillary services.
With the economic downturn and dip in passenger traffic of airlines, the private terminal boasts a 67 per cent occupancy rate and 2.2 million passengers in 2022 (compared with 3.2 million in 2021).
Unfazed by the decline, Chief Operating Officer of BASL, Tosan Duncan, said they remain upbeat and steadily repositioning MMA2 from being a mere airport terminal into an integral part of the travel experience for over eight thousand departing and arriving customers daily.
Duncan said the introduction of the Premium Departure Concierge service is set to redefine travel, catering to the evolving needs of modern passengers.
“Yet, our VIP and Private Membership Lounges remain steadfast, offering a personalised haven for those seeking comfort and exclusivity. MMA2 isn’t just an airport; it’s a dynamic ecosystem.
“With over 190 rental spaces housing local and international eateries, banks, travel services, and an array of shops, we’re not just facilitating travel. We’re creating a miniature version of modern life. From literature to luxury, telecommunications to fashion, we cater to diverse tastes and preferences.
“We’re not just processing people; we’re building a lifestyle community; a space where serenity and self-assuredness coexist, offering a respite from the fast-paced world beyond these walls. Let us not forget the arts that breathe life into our terminal.
“The Art Gallery, a hub of creativity, allows passengers to engage with culture as they traverse our halls. And as we look toward the future, our multi-storey car park is being transformed to provide a range of parking options and streamlined payment methods,” she assured.
Duncan further disclosed that they recently embarked on a new journey of collaboration and partnership, to forge a strong bond with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, “under whose auspices we operate as a privileged, public-private partnership”.
It will be recalled that the MMA2 terminal was commissioned on April 7, 2007, by then-President Olusegun Obasanjo. The terminal was concessioned to Bi-Courtney Limited as a private-public partnership under a design, build, operate, and transfer (DBOT) agreement by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
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