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FAAN evacuates abandoned aircraft, destroys illegal billboards

The Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) says it has completed the removal of all abandoned and disused aircraft from the air side of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Ikeja, Lagos.

Mr. Yakubu Dati, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, made this known to newsmen in Lagos.

Dati said that most of the abandoned aircraft were dismantled and sold as scraps to the public, while others were bought by individuals for business interests.

Dati, however, denied that N120 million was generated from the sale of the abandoned aircraft at the airport.

He said that the destruction and evacuation of no fewer than 65 airplanes abandoned by domestic airlines was taking place in eight airports across the country.

“We have completed that of Lagos airport;  we are still working at Benin, Kano, Port Harcourt and some other few airports.

“Once we are done with all the airports in the country, we shall let the public know.

“We cannot give a particular figure of the remaining aircraft in each airport, but we are almost done.

“FAAN has not come out to claim it has generated money from this evacuation; the alleged money said to have been generated was a rumour.” 

According to Dati, some of the abandoned aircraft have been at the airport environment for almost 10 years.

“None of them is serviceable because most of their owners have closed shop; unfortunately, such owners don’t want to evacuate them for reasons best known to them.

“Today, we have removed everything; our air side is free,” he said.

Report says that some of the abandoned aircraft belong to Bellview Airlines, Space World, Capital Airlines, IRS Airlines, EAS Airlines, Dasab Airlines and Fresh Airlines.

The aircraft models range from Fokker 28, Embraer 100 to Boeing 727 and 737.

Dati also stated that the authority had begun the removal of some billboards placed by one of its concessionaires, Bi-Courtney, at the MMA.

“The removal of the billboards was on the heels of violation by the concessionaire not to place any billboard or advertisement on a property it no longer has control over.

“Such act of violation to place their advertisements on a property it no longer has legal status over, is enough demonstration that the firm is treading on the path of illegality, the general manager said.

He said that the government would soon consider how to convert the property into a value adding asset, rather than the current insecurity it posed around the airport.

He said that the failure of Bi-Courtney to complete a four-star hotel and a conference centre on the property had resulted to the site becoming a hideout for undesirable and unauthorised persons at the airport.

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