British Airways has relocated to the new international terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja one day to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria‘s (FAAN) deadline.
The foreign airline operator moved to the new international terminal on Tuesday to beat the deadline by FAAN which was set for April 30, 2019. FAAN had issued a directive to all international airline companies to relocate their operations to the new terminal.
British Airways‘s relocation was completed when it landed its B777-300 at 4:40 a.m with 220 passengers and crew onboard; comprising 207 passengers and 13 crew members.
The Management of @FAAN_Official is excited to announce that with the movement of the operations of British Airways to the new International Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,all international flights now operate from the new Terminal. pic.twitter.com/z66tjRWdXB
— FAAN (@FAAN_Official) April 30, 2019
Why FAAN want foreign airlines to relocate: FAAN intends to renovate the old terminal, and the relocation of these foreign airlines will enable renovation work to commence. It was also disclosed that the relocation will allow full utilisation of the facility and also help the authority streamline its international operations, according to the Regional General Manager of North-Central of FAAN, Sani Mahmud.
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“We feel fulfilled. We started with the commissioning of the airport by Mr president on the 20th of December 2018 and we prepared and started receiving flights immediately into the terminal with Asky.
“Today, all our 12 international airlines have moved in, the last being the British Airways. We are sincerely grateful to government for providing this edifice and you can see from the faces of the passengers that they are all happy to be in a new facility like this.
“The ultimatum given to the airlines worked because we gave them 31st March in the first instance but two or three requested for extension to this time and by the grace of God, all of them have moved in.
”We hope that more international airlines will come into Abuja in view of the facilities and the fact that Abuja airport is certified.”
Other foreign airline operators that have moved into the new terminal include EgyptAir, AirFrance and Turkish Airlines.
FAAN beef up security in the airport: The International Terminal Manager, Hajara Musa, has disclosed that over 500 cameras have been installed to boost security in the new facility. She said these cameras have been installed in strategic areas of the facility.
“Having identified the risk attached to insider threat, we have over 500 cameras already installed and we are still going to put more.
“Every day we discover open area and we call the attention of the contractor on the need to empower the place with camera and there is always somebody at the control room who will alert you immediately he sees anything that is abnormal going on.
“There are no blind spots around the baggage area because it is full of cameras, personnel are at alert, the control room is at alert and we are moving round the clock. So, we are on ground.”