Lagos airport records 6.6% passenger traffic growth
Passenger traffic at the Murtala Muhammed Airport recorded a marginal growth of 6.6 percent in 2019, with no fewer than 7.3 million passengers using the busiest airport. The South West Airports’ manager of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Victoria Shin-Aba, yesterday disclosed this with assurance of additional upswing when the new terminal comes upstream.
2019 saw over half a million new traffic compared to 2018 that had a total of 6.8 million passengers. Aircraft movement also rose by 5.2 percent, as 96,373 were recorded in 2019 compared 91, 621 in 2018.The marginal increase has shown indication of overall growth in passenger traffic in both the local and international sections nationwide. The industry recorded 18 million passengers in 2018. The increase, compared with the 2017 figures, represents about 11 percent growth in passenger traffic.
Shin-Aba said apart from the security issues witnessed last year, which were being addressed by the government, safety issues would continue to be given priority adding that all shortcomings were being studied with a view to adjusting them.At least three cases of attempted runway invasion were lately recorded in Lagos to raise fresh concern over security at the airport.
Recall that Aviation Security (AVSEC) last December arrested a runway intruder just as he attempted boarding a taxing Air Peace airline flight departing for Owerri.The intruder, a young man of about 25 years, was sighted around the airfield by AVSEC personnel manning the Charlie One link/holding area.
Earlier, a Nigerien intruded into the operations of an Azman airline’s plane at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2), exposing perennial security lapses at Nigeria’s busiest airport.A video clip shot by an onboard passenger, showed the middle-aged man approaching the commercial plane with hand luggage. He, in fact, climbed on the left engine in an attempt to get into the cabin of the plane that was waiting for take-off clearance from control tower.
Shin-Aba said that lessons had been learnt from last year’s security challenges and measures were been taken to address lapses include increase in patrol on airside with military men being drafted to areas where intruders were using and raising of the height of the fence.
On the new terminal building under construction, the manager explained that the facility when operational would provide seamless passenger facilitation, assuring that a total refurbishment of the over 40 years old MMA terminals will then commence. Shin Aba noted that old terminal was over-stretched, saying that it was built to accommodate two million passengers but ended up taking seven million.
“A total refurbishment will be carried out at old terminal because it is over 40 years old and its structure does not conform with the security in ground today.”Marginal growth trend had been observed in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, with no fewer than 3.5 million passengers travelling through the airports. The Q1 report released by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), showed an increase of 76,397 passengers and 2.23 percent growth compared to the 3.43 million passengers recorded in the first quarter of 2018.
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