Following the bombing of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, which killed 42 people and left 147 others badly injured, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday said it was constrained to advise all airport users, especially passengers and airline operators, to be security conscious at airports.
The airport authority said following the spate of recent security breaches, including bomb blasts, at some airports around the world, the advice had become necessary.
“Passengers are advised not to accept any luggage from anyone and to report any suspicious movements or behaviour immediately to Aviation Security Personnel in the terminals,” FAAN cautioned.
On its part, the authority said it had put adequate security measures in place at all Nigerian airports, to forestall any form of security breach, including the installation of 3D screening machines, metal detectors and CCTV cameras.
“Apart from the statutory security and safety measures already in place at the airports, sniffer dogs and members of the Bomb Detection Unit of the Nigerian Police Force have also been deployed at the airports, to complement the effort of our Aviation Security personnel at the security screening points.
“Inspite of these heightened security measures, passenger facilitation at all our airports has also been enhanced by the installation of more modern and bigger conveyor belts and metal walk-through detectors. Airport terminals have also been expanded and modernised to provide better ambience and more space for passenger comfort,” FAAN stated
“As the Sallah holiday approaches, the Authority also wishes to advise air passengers to make early arrangements for their travels and to leave home early on their travel dates, in order to complete their boarding facilities in good time,” the authority added in the statement signed by it general manager for corporate communications, Mr Yakubu Dati.
Meanwhile, Arik Air has refuted claims that it has suspended operations to Accra, Ghana.
The airline’s chief commercial officer, Suraj Sundaram said the airline is still operating between the Lagos-Accra and Abuja-Accra routes and is not contemplating suspension of flights as claimed by a section of the media.
“We have been consistent since commencing the Accra route in January 2008 and we remain the largest airline on that route offering the largest capacity and choice of flights not only connecting Nigeria to Ghana but also onwards from Ghana to other West African nations”, Sundaram said.
Nigeria and West Africa’s largest carrier, Arik Air started Accra operations with one daily flight and the airline has scaled this operation over the years into five flights out of Lagos and Abuja.