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AON calls for review of runway closure as FAAN gives update on work so far done


The President, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa says, the closure of the runway 18L of the Lagos airport has caused unsustainable additional operating costs and severe inconvenience to the airlines and passengers.

This is just as he said that, they are utterly disappointed that for over a week now the runway was closed for the installation of airfield lightning system, there is no evidence on ground that work was ongoing.

The AON President also noted that, they received with surprise, the NOTAM of 5th July, 2022 informing the industry that FAAN would be closing the domestic runway (18L) of MMA from 08 July 2022, for a period of 90 days and with such short notice, the Federal Airports Authorityof Nigeria, FAAN sadly went ahead to close the runway.

In a letter addressed to the Managing Director, FAAN, the AON listed their concerns and the grave effects the closure would have on their operations.

The AON welcomes the effort by FAAN to install runway lighting on Runway 18L, at last. However, international best practice for such critical airfield infrastructure projects is for the airport operator to
They also frown at the failure of FAAN to enter into discussions with all affected parties, to arrive at an optimal arrangement that allows the work to be done, while limiting the inconvenience, economic impact and safety implications on all concerned. 

“In this instance, FAAN failed to do this”.

Alhaji Yunusa stated that, in line with international best practice, runways of airports are only closed when there is no other option, adding that, an infrastructure projects such as this one on 18L, to limit the impact on flight operations, FAAN ought to have ensured that the contractor does the work at night, when the runway is not in use.

“If there is an absolute need for work to be done during daylight hours, then agreement should have been reached with the runway users on what time window would allow this”.

He adds, “FAAN is aware of the current existential threat of runaway aviation fuel prices to the domestic airlines. The closure of the main domestic runway of MMA automatically adds an additional 10-15% more fuel costs per sector into and out of MMA, based on the additional flight and taxi time incurred as a result. The airlines have already felt these additional costs within the first week of the closure of the runway. This unnecessary burden is unsustainable for a 3-month period on the airlines”.

The body urged the management of FAAN to urgently review this closure of Runway 18L and enter into discussion with the users of the runway on a procedure for the project, that limits both the cost impact on airlines as well as disruption to normal flight operations. 

They also requests FAAN to convene an urgent stakeholders consultation meeting, to address this matter. 

“AON assures FAAN of our commitment to partnering with FAAN to install the long overdue runway lighting on Runway 18L, in line with accepted international best practice”.

FAAN in a swift reaction to the alleged non-commencement of work on the runway says, work has since commenced on the MMA 18L/36R AGL Installation.

The Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Faithful Hope-Ivbaze says, digging of cable trenches is in progress, Installation of the threshold 18L with cutting and excavation of the secondary cable trench and fixing of fittings.

Others are, marking of the taxiway Centreline,  stop-bars and No Entry lights on taxiway C and almost completed. 


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