By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The Management of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Lagos on Monday continued flight operations following the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) agreement to shelve plans of withdrawing its services to the terminal over alleged indebtedness.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FAAN had in a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) stated that it would be withdrawing Aviation Security, fire fighting and rescue operations to MMA2 effective from midnight Dec. 9.
However, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed to NAN that negotiations had resumed between the agency and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the MMA2.
A NAN aviation correspondent who monitored the situation observed that only Arik Air had moved its Port Harcourt flights temporarily back to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the airport operated by FAAN due to the threat.
Other airlines operating at the MMA2 which are Medview, Max Air, Dana Air, Aero Contractors and Azman Air flew their passengers without any hindrances.
Aero Contractors Lagos- Abuja- Kano and Lagos-Abuja flights departed from the MMA2 at 6.43 a.m. and 6.53 a.m. respectively.
Similarly, Azman Air Lagos-Abuja flight departed at 6.47 a.m., Dana Air Lagos-Port Harcourt flight departed at 6.48 a.m., Dana Air Lagos-Abuja flight departed at 6.57 a.m. while Max Air Lagos-Abuja-Yola flight departed at 7.05 a.m.
NAN reports that FAAN had claimed that the MMA2 was indebted to the agency to the tune of N3.9 billion since it began operations on Sept. 8,2007.
FAAN claimed the money was for the provision of electricity, rent and conference and hotel and the five per cent remittance as agreed in the contract.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BASL, in November, FAAN gave the breakdown of the indebtedness as at July 31 as N1.4 billion for provision of Aviation Security (AVSEC), another N143 million for Fire/Safety Cost, N2.1million for marshalling and N1.9billion for management cost.
Similarly, FAAN had also issued similar threats to Gombe, Kebbi , and Bebi airports.
“This action has become imperative as the management of Gombe airport is indebted to the authority to the tune of N607. 9 million, while Kebbi and Bebi airports are indebted to the tune of N124.5 million and N76. 8 million respectively without any concerted effort to pay up the debt.
The authority has issued a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) to this effect so as to give operators into the airports the opportunity to review there logistics plan,”Yakubu said in a statement issued on Sunday.