The Nigerian government has begun plans to reopen its airports for domestic and international travels.
Against this background, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it held a skype meeting with Munich Airport International to share experiences and compare notes on the effects of the COVID19 lockdown on the airports.
The meeting which was at the instance of the Managing Director of FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu, had in attendance the Munich Airport Expert Team, Herbert Keffel, Georgios Elkolids and Julian Duerdoth.
It was also coordinated by Fortune Idu, Managing Director of FCI International Ltd, with Nike Aboderin, the Director of Finance as the team lead on the Nigerian side of 30 FAAN participants.
A statement by Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN spokesperson, noted that the aim was to assess the readiness of FAAN to gradually begin operations, following the Federal Government’s directive for reopening of the four regional airports.
Earlier in May, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Musa Nuhu, had said only four or five airports may be opened for domestic flight operations when the ban on the flight is eventually lifted by the federal government
They included Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt airports.
In initiating the meeting, Mr Yadudu had commented that while FAAN is responding to the guidelines set by 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 they are on the right track and join the global industry in building back travel confidence.
The FAAN MD noted that Munich airport has successfully reopened its airport and has recommenced domestic and international flights, so it is worth sharing their experience with them. Furthermore, FAAN intends to begin involving itself in route development and therefore, collaborative efforts between Munich and FAAN can help in that direction, he added.
The presentation via skype simulated from Germany and England was tagged Rapid Aviation Plan by Georgios Elkolids. Herbert 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 on the issue of orderly management of human traffic in a relatively small airport space, the Munich airport team compared notes on how they had carried out flow management and social distancing orders with the FAAN team.
They also showed a willingness to continue the backend co-operation and information sharing to help build traffic, passenger confidence and also improve operational efficiency, non-aeronautical services and route development.
Mr Idu the coordinator of the meeting proposed 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. He noted that this will put “some of Nigeria’s airports at the top of the region.”