The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has started evacuating abandoned aircraft which litter the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
At least, 13 aircraft belonging to different airlines have been abandoned at the airside of the airport for several years.
Most of the aircraft are already dusty while some have been overgrown by weeds.
It was learnt that FAAN had issued several warnings in the past to the owners to evacuate them but they seem reluctant which prompted the authority to begin the evacuation.
General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu confirmed that at least 13 aircraft have been abandoned at the airside by different airlines in the past years.
She noted that the abandoned aircraft constitute danger to safety and smooth operations of aircraft.
So far, she said four of the abandoned aircraft were relocated last Friday while additional four would be moved today.
She gave the names of the aircraft relocated last Friday by the agency as Associated Air, IRS, Dana Air and Hak Air. Others that would be moved today are aircraft belonging to the liquidated carrier, Air Nigeria, Associated Cargo, Bellview, JedAir, Precision Aviation Handling Company and PAC, TopBrass and others.
She said the relocation became necessary in order to give more space for airworthy aircraft to land, take off and manoeuvre as expected during operations at the airside, insisting that FAAN would continue to take safety and comfort of airport users as a top priority.
According to her, plans have also reached an advanced stage for the agency to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the strategic locations within the airside in order to forestall aircraft poaching and other incidences.
Apart from this, she explained that FAAN had embarked on grass cutting at the airside to ensure improved safety and prevention of security within that area of airport.
She said: “As at Friday, we moved four aircraft from the airside and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of Lagos airport told me again this morning that they are going to move another set of four aircraft. We have about 13 aircraft abandoned at the airside.
“We have taken the legal issues into consideration, if you agree with me; these aircraft are not helping us in anyway. They are taking up a lot of space. Space for aircraft landing and taking off are being taken by these aircraft”.