Travellers decry skeletal services at Port Harcourt airport
Asaba to resume flight for big planes in March
Travellers have lamented their ordeal at the Port Harcourt International Airport, especially during this Yuletide.
A visit to the airport at Omagwa in Ikwere Local Council of Rivers State yesterday showed several passengers mumbling at the arrival terminal.
One of the passengers, Mr. Emmanuel Thomson, said: “There is nothing to show that one is at the airport. No improvement at this festive period. We all are aware that the airport has been in a state of disrepair for long but one would think that the festive period would bring some augmentation but that did not happen.
“All we keep seeing is endless list of non-functional facilities inside the terminals, including dilapidated structures, unpainted walls, poor air conditioning systems, lack of communication facilities, absence of comfortable and secured seats for passengers, poor toilets and other conveniences facilities.”
Ige Olalikon, who bemoaned the condition travellers are being subjected to during this festive period, said he had waited for over five hours for his flight.
Officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were not on ground for comments.
In another development, Delta State Government has disclosed that Asaba Airport would resume flight for big planes in March 2017 ahead of the April 2017 deadline stipulated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the remediation of undulating parts of the runway.
It also disclosed that the airport would not only accommodate small aircraft but would be upgraded to take bigger ones like Boeing 747 and Boeing 737.
Project Director of the airport, Mr. Austin Ayemidejor, who disclosed this to newsmen during an inspection tour of the runway, said that work on it was being taken in phases to give comfort and ample space for flights.
Ayemidejor said that once the remedial work on the runway as directed by the NCAA is completed, Asaba airport would be one of the best in the country, adding: “It is feasible to complete this project within the next two months.
We are not going to compromise on quality, we have also said that only qualified hands will handle the project and we have achieved that.”
Also, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Director, Highways, Mr. Fred Edafioghor, said that the project on ground was to make even the undulations in the runway and resurface it to standard.
In the same vein, the Project Manager, Ulo Consultancy Limited, Ikechukwu Kalu and Project Manager, China Geological Corporation, CGC Special Projects, Mr. Ben Chi, assured the state government of meeting up with the deadline.
Meanwhile, Med-View Airlines has promised to return the luggage of its passengers, which it left behind in London last week.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Lookman Animashaun, said the action was due to “operational issues.”
He said the airline regretted the inconveniences that the situation had caused the affected passengers.
According to him, the airline would have returned the luggage to the affected passengers on Sunday if the authorities of Garwick Airport had allowed it.
He said a special flight that was dispatched to bring the load on Saturday “returned without the baggage following the inability of Gatwick Airport authorities to screen them.”
The COO said Gartwick Airport authorities had complained that they could not screen the luggage because its workforce was depleted due to the Christmas break.
He, therefore, appealed to the affected passengers to show understanding, promising that another flight would leave for London to bring the left-over baggage to Lagos.
The Guardian learnt that some of the passengers had received their luggage on Sunday, while others are still expecting theirs.