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Airlines seek airport upgrade to limit delays

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Airport terminal space, machines and other factors cause flight delays.

During the launch of the book “Air Transportation in Nigeria: The Lingering Expectations,” domestic Airline companies called for a revamp and advancement of airport Infrastructure. They said that most delayed flights were caused by things like not enough space in the airport terminals, not enough x-ray machines, and a lack of people to help passengers at the airports. Allen Onyema, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, spoke on behalf of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and warned that the expected increase in passenger traffic during the upcoming holiday season could overwhelm airport infrastructure, particularly in Abuja, where only a handful of check-in counters are located in a relatively small hall capable of handling hundreds of passengers at once.

He added such a circumstance naturally produces delays since passengers who engage with airlines don’t really know the fundamental cause, which starts with check-in hall limitation, check-in counters, passenger screening difficulties, and departure hall capacity. Onyema estimated that 95 percent of flight delays are not caused by passengers or airlines. He said airlines are prepared, have their resource, and understand the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is responsive to its regulatory duties. Therefore, safety is guaranteed; however, the airport authority still has some issues to solve.

Airport delays are beyond airlines’ and customers’ control.

Regarding the Abuja and Gombe airports, he stated that it is unthinkable for passengers from around ten airlines to occupy a limited space with just four check-in counters, but instead of rallying around and supporting them, authorities choose to de-value them. Because of the country’s environment, Nigerian airline operators are among the country’s most patriotic residents. Passengers ought to know the real truth, yet those who are obligated to safeguard them are actively de-marketing airlines because they are unfairly blamed for delays that are beyond their control.

One popular destination that people enjoy flying to is Gombe. The governor has been quite encouraging, and although Air Peace enjoys the location, their safety is crucial. They reported the malfunctioning scanners, but They believe they are taking action, and he’s confident that all the relevant authorities are aware of the issue, so the issue is manageable, he continued. As a result of the book’s comprehensive coverage of the nation’s industry, stakeholders in the field have applauded and honored its authors.

The launched book will serve as an insight into the aviation sector.

Captain Musa Nuhu, Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), was represented by Tayyib Odunowo, Director of Aerodrome Airspace Standard, who confirmed that foreign currency and aviation fuel were continuing problems for the industry. The book’s chief launcher, Onyema, said it would be useful as a resource for Nigerians who are curious about the aviation industry. He believes the book does a good job of dissecting the problems of policy reversal, the owner/manager syndrome in the airline company, and poor corporate governance.

A number of people attended the event, including the chairman of Arik Air, Sir Arumemi Ikhide, and the previous managing director of Arik Air, Chris Ndulue. Dr. Alex Nwuba, Mr. Richard Aisubeogun; Mr. Kola Olayinka and Mrs. Adetutu Otuyalo, former and current country managers of British Airways; Mr. Abayomi Agoro, president of the Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers Association, Stakeholders in the industry who attended the event, praised the authors’ effort and attention to detail, noting that some of the issues addressed in the book have plagued the sector for years but have never been addressed.

FAAN and the ministry to revamp the airlines and their operation mode.

AON has communicated to the Ministry and FAAN regarding Abuja check-in counters, but the MD of FAAN said something is going to be done. The old international terminal is wasting away, so these airlines can move there to make more use of access. If they are only given a few counters, and thousands of people check in, this is definitely the cause of major delays. However, this government has helped with aviation, the President and the Minister have done quite a bit. However, they must take action on infrastructure, particularly at the Abuja airport, which is causing delays after taking off from Lagos due to check-in issues and no conveyor belts.


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