Passenger terminal has four essential roles. It serves as a transport hub as people (for example, from bus to aircraft). Then it checks and controls passengers by means of ticket check, customs and immigration control. Next, its significant function is providing passengers with different services, such as cafes, restaurants or duty-free shops. And at fourth end it also organises passengers in separate groups and makes them ready to start a journey.
While, they spend some amount of time in the building, they need comfort and to be entertained while they are waiting for their flight.
At the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has made passenger comfort a priority as it has replaced the chillers in the arrival wing of the airport.
When NewsGazette visited the terminal recently, it was observed that the cooling system had been upgraded and waiting areas created for passengers at both arrival and departure halls outside the terminal thereby helping to reduce the number of people in the halls.
It was gathered that it was the beginning of a total overhaul of the cooling system as the airport authority plans to extend the chillers to the departure wing as soon as possible to give passengers the right experience.
NewsGazette alsoobserved that the cooling system was working optimally around the Arrival D and E wings to the extent that people around the lobby had to wear thick clothing.
“We want to provide our customers with maximum comfort they deserve. The airport, especially international, tells a lot about a country. So, when passengers arrive at the airport or are ready to leave they must have a good impression about us as a people and about the airport, said FAAN staff who craved anonymity.
He said FAAN meant business in changing the poor perception of the airport terminal with the upgrading of the cooling system.
“Now, the story of MMIA terminal being hot even during the rainy season has been re-written. It’s not only the cooling system but also the general ambience, both interior and exterior. We are doing a lot of things to make the airport a top notch. Much is expected and much we will deliver.
“Throughout the process of modernisation, we have gone the extra mile in creating a modern terminal building at least as good as the best available elsewhere in the world.
“What we have created is a unique environment with passenger comfort as top priority, a welcoming atmosphere, a friendly passenger-airport management relationship to ease passenger flow,” said a FAAN staff who craved anonymity.
Arriving passengers on Kenyan Airways and RwandAir reacted to the new experience at the terminal.
A passenger who identified himself simply as Daniel described the cooling system as “a welcome development” and implored the airport managers to maintain the facility.
“I have travelled through this airport on numerous occasions and this is the first time in years that I step out of the aircraft and feel like I am still in a lush environment. In fact I feel the same sensation as if I’m still in the aircraft. This is quite nice, but they need to maintain it; maintenance is key,” he said.
It was also learnt that apart from plans to provide the same facility in the departure lounge, some other repair work, including renovation of the ceiling and re-lighting of the terminal are going on.
Commenting on the development, spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said the agency will continue to upgrade “our facilities, processes and procedures, in consonance with our core values of security, safety and comfort.”