As the concession of airport terminals gathers momentum, the Aviation Round Table (ART) has advised the federal government to ensure all the labour and related matters are adequately and satisfactorily resolved prior to the conclusion of the exercise.
ART stated this in a communiqué (Details below) adopted and issued at the end of its recent webinar conference tagged ‘Nigerian airports concession: How far, so far?’
ART said it had become imperative for the terminals to be given out to concessionaires to reduce financial burden of the government but prayed the authorities to settle the controversies surrounding the various concession agreements between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and AIC Ltd., Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Maevis Ltd, Toll Plaza and all the other such agreements.
In addition, it urged the government to consider the totality of all the 22 airport terminals in the current airport concession plan.
“There is need for aviation authorities in Nigeria to understudy successful models of terminal commercialisation and operation in other climes to gain deeper understanding of airport concession and management to minimise controversies associated with such,” it added
Text of the communiqué
Communiqué issued at the end of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) webinar held on Thursday, August 13, 2020
‘NIGERIAN AIRPORTS CONCESSION: HOW FAR, SO FAR?
1. The session acknowledged the necessity for government to concession airport terminals in order to reduce financial burden on the Federal Government for airports infrastructure development management. The concession of the terminals should not just be a departure from the status quo but with an objective to deliberately drive regional competitive hubs as well as mega carriers that will operate in those hubs.
2. The participants enjoined the ministry of aviation to ensure that the terminal concession process is transparently conducted in compliance with the extant laws and due process to avoid post-agreement controversies and rancour as previously experienced. In addition, the government should, in its current concession plan consider the totality of all the 22 airport terminals.
3. The session was informed of the recruitment of a strategic communication consultant who is expected to disseminate important information on the concession process for the benefit of all stakeholders. Therefore, the government should define and clarify what is to be concessioned within the airport.
4. All existing legal, labour, and other complications arising from previous experiments (Nigeria Airways (WT), NAHCO, etc.) should be conclusively resolved. Therefore, there is need for government to allay the fears of the unions and employees of FAAN with regard to the planned concession. The process must be fair and transparent.
5. The controversies surrounding the various concession agreements between FAAN and the following: AIC Ltd., Bi Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Maevis Ltd., Toll Plaza Operator and all other such agreements should be resolved as soon as possible by parties involved before moving on to sign new concession agreements in order not to discourage prospective investors.
6. It was also recommended that the concession be done with the objectives of protecting users’ interest through the provision of innovative and quality services by service providers as well as leveraging private sector funds amenable to modern technologies to provide improved infrastructure comparable to global standards.
7. It was further recommended that Government should have minimal participation in airport’s terminal management and infrastructure development but should concern itself primarily with aeronautical services and regulatory interventions and oversight.
8. The webinar also recommended that the proposal for a connected rail system designed to ensure interoperability of the domestic and international terminals at the MMIA Lagos be revisited to enhance passenger facilitation and air cargo management.
9. The modest successes recorded in terminal infrastructure and services at the MMA2 should be improved upon and adopted as a strategy for development of other terminals in the country.
There is need for aviation authorities in Nigeria to understudy successful models of terminal commercialisation and operation in other climes to gain deeper understanding of airport concession and management to minimise controversies associated with such.