Aviation

REVEALED: Only 3 out of 22 airports in Nigeria are viable – FAAN

Nineteen of the 22 airports in the country are unviable, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said yesterday.

 

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku said several states in the North and Southwest are developing new airports.

 

She spoke on a national television programme.

 

Mrs Kuku said the authority is cross-subsidising the 19 airports and will continue to do so for some of the new airports being developed.

 

She said: “I started off by saying that we have 22 airports which we own and manage.”

 

“We also have about six or seven airports that are either owned by state governments or private individuals or entity which we also support with either aviation security or fire and rescue services.

 

“We have a number of states in the North as well as in the Southwest that are coming up with new airports.

 

“I would say that based on the states today, only three of the 22 airports are actually profitable and contribute largely to the sustenance of the airport companies that we run.

 

“I would also say that we are actually cross-subsidising the other 19 airports today and in most instances, we will substitute or cross-subsidise for some of the airports that are coming on board as well.”

 

Mrs Kuku said FAAN contributes 50 percent of its revenue to the federal coffers which is a major challenge, adding that the authority is in discussions with the various arms of government to seek some relief.

 

The FAAN boss said passenger traffic is driven by gross domestic product (GDP) growth and economic activities rather than the construction of new airports.

 

She said it is important to focus on key activities such as trade, manufacturing, and tourism to increase airport traffic.

 

“Rather than building new airports, we need to look at the bottom of the value chain to determine what activities can drive traffic into these airports,” Mrs Kuku said.

 

She said FAAN is collaborating closely with international organisations, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Federal Ministry of Aviation, to expand both domestic and international routes.

 

The FAAN boss said there are initiatives in place to transform Nigeria and specific airports within the country into transit hubs.

 

“What that means is that we start to build a network of airports where we can push our feeders to some of the other states or to some of the other locations and start to utilise our airports,” she said.

 

She said nearly 4 million passengers currently travel internationally from Nigeria, stressing that the efficient use of infrastructure is essential for sustaining and maintaining the facilities.

 

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