Airport reopening: Munich Airport International shares experience with FAAN

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*Yadudu

As the federal government reopens some airports for domestic flights on June 21, the Federal Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Munich Airport International held a skype meeting to share experiences and compare notes on the effects of the coronavirus disease lockdown on the airports.

The spokesperson for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said in a statement the meeting was convened at the instance of the agency’s managing director, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu.

She said the aim was to assess FAAN’s readiness to gradually begin operations, following the federal government’s directive for reopening of five regional airports.

It was attended by the Munich Airport expert team, Herbert Keffel, Georgios Elkolids and Julian Duerdoth as well as the director of finance and administration, Mrs. Nike Aboderin, who led a 30-man FAAN participating team.

Speaking at the meeting, Yadudu said “while FAAN is responding to the guidelines set by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for gradual airport reopening and POST COVID 19 operations, it is important also to compare notes with other airports in the world to make sure we are on the right track and join the global industry in building back travel confidence.

“Munich airport has successfully reopened its airport and has recommenced domestic and international flights, so it is worth sharing their experience with them according to the MD of FAAN. 

“Furthermore, FAAN intends to begin involving itself in route development and therefore, collaborative efforts between Munich and FAAN can help in that direction.

Elkolids made a presentation tagged ‘Rapid aviation plan’ which was simulated from Germany and England, while Keffel highlighted the steps and considerations which Munich Airport International adopted towards the successful reopening of the airport.

Though there are guidelines issued by ICAO and ACI for the purpose of the reopening, the guidelines become more successful if they are adapted based on the peculiarities of the airport environment which Munich has successfully done.  

In response  to a question  raised by Aboderin on the issue of orderly management of human traffic in a relatively small airport space, the Munich airport team did not only compare notes on how they carried out flow management and social distancing orders with the FAAN team but also showed a willingness to continue the back-end co-operation and information sharing to help build traffic, passenger confidence as well as improve  operational efficiency, non-aeronautical services and route development.

In his contribution, the coordinator of the meeting, Mr. Fortune Idu said he wanted to see the formation of a development partnership between the two organisations for the betterment of the industry and to enable FAAN’s airports learn and aspire to operate high standards of airport services like Munich Airport.

“This will put some of Nigeria’s airports at the top of the region,” he said.

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