Home Uncategorized MMA2 COO, Emphasizes Security, Passenger Welfare in an interview on Terminal’s Transformation

MMA2 COO, Emphasizes Security, Passenger Welfare in an interview on Terminal’s Transformation

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MMA2 COO, Mrs Tosan Duncan-Odukoya

The Chief Operating Officer of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited Mrs.Tosan Duncan-Odukoya says security, safety and passengers welfare will continue to remain priority at MMA2 while trainings and ploughing back to infrastructure development remains paramount as the terminal continues to share information. In this interview, she speaks on the transformation of the 16 year old award winning private terminal. Excerpts. 

What have you put on ground in ensuring smooth passengers facilitation during this Yuletide? 

We have had some challenges in the past but again, this is our sixteenth year. We have told ourselves we have reached first stage of adulthood, so we must take responsibility. A lot of it was with maintenance, ploughing back infrastructure to make sure that we are ready. What we did this year, was that we started from August this year with a plan called (PPPP) Peak Period Preparatory Plan. 

We began from August. We started looking at the what the spare parts will take, what the infrastructure to work on and the trainings and we even called in some of our vendors, stakeholders that work with us things to look at the lifts, escalators and make sure that they are ready. The X-ray machines, the roof top and the things that are in the background. That doesn’t show up until there’s a squeeze on it and then it cracks. So, we looked at that and did lot of in house trainings working with our own staff, especially on conflict management, spare parts. Many clients are coming in from abroad their luggage is heavy, we have a new policy with all fabric bag known as Ghana must go, a lot of those bags come in. We find out that they are not well packed, we have to ensure that before that bag goes on our baggage hall, it is wrapped 

A lot of clients come home with bag pack with their loose items that gets caught in the baggage and we are in trouble. So, we put up a notice saying detach or wrap it. We had extra staff, we went in for this young went for strong IT people, and we have a whole team of them and ordered them to move around the terminal and to be there when they’re checking in. 

That’s just logistics and we worked on training. So we are ready when it comes to security and we have so many things to think about when it comes to security. When it comes to managing the crowd, information sharing that we are getting. 

We are working with our partners, the airlines, NCAA the regulatory body in charge of the customers, consumer protection unit has been very good with us. We are working with them. We are working with the aviation security body that is from our parent organisation FAAN. So, at the end of the day, it is a collaborative effort, teamwork. There’s a new thing we are working on called the team work, we have a product we call, Escalade Escape.

We have brought that dissemination of information as in “Escalade it” at the same time you want to keep it secret “Escalade it” so that from the top to the bottom, information is being flown, we are very excited about that, our staff are very engaged and not disenfranchised at all so that they are there always. We have a system that around 2am we have a problem it gets solved by 6am, we have another that at 4:30 we open gates for customers, the system is working.

Again, the issue of wrapping of bag is currently the talk within the industry as Ethiopian Airlines has stopped the use of wrapped bags into their country. Please explained 

These are very sturdy bags in one direction, they are bags that just helped people to pack what they can. Ghana Must Go bags. that helps people carry what they can at the same time a single use item, it used to be a powerful, wonderful bag although it has lost some quality. They could hold a lot but now when it carries weight it tears, belongings flies and scatters away, we don’t want that bag disgracing you. Now, it is made up of a very substandard plastic, as soon as you pick it up, it’s destroyed. 

Therefore we feel that in order for us to make sure we have a nine level baggage system in hidden areas where people don’t know really what is going on. So, that baggage handlers can pick it up to over 10 airlines, we are running 49  airlines a day. We don’t want to have a system whereby we shut the whole thing down because some bags have had loosed track or broken down. Sometimes people carry liquid freezed items, which should not be. When we say wrap the bag, it is actually for safety reasons, security reasons, convenient reasons for operational reasons

What should the bag wrapped with? 

Two things have proven internationally acceptable as a standard and allowed, one is baggage wrapping machine that has been accredited ICAO. Two things we try to avoid is your baggage being torn over, the baggage belt or detracts catches with some of our systems, the baggage wrapping system is like a form of plastic.

We have 2-3 baggage machines accredited already.

What are you doing concerning towing of vehicles at the terminal by your men? 

We live in a beautiful land and an amazing country. We have fantastic fellow Nigerians. The problem is from the Nigerian travelling public, not Nigerians. So, what happens, we have a drop off, unlike others but where my departure is not physically separated from my arrival, we have some airports two levels different picking up or dropping, however what we are saying is to make the space well and truly open for all the people coming in for safety. For crowd control, that unassuming passenger is not picked up from no where. 

We are saying let that system be spaced out, carefully managed, be watched over so that we are sure that arriving passengers are being treated right. We have various carparks, we have car hire teams accredited, we have their numbers, they have a sector at the ground floor where you pay taxi fares and you are free to go, we also have the VIP section where busy people park, that’s a paid service, then we have our multi storey car park. It is 4 levels which can take from 800 to 900 cars at a go, we have overnight services there.

If you just want to spend at least 30 mins, we don’t to spend go to 2nd floor pay #500 for 30mins,we also have automated paying systems.

If you need a little bit more time, come in, park, check in at least one hour, after 30mins the next is 90mins after that you pay 100 naira extra, it’s a favor. That actually makes it easier for people to calm down, we also make sure that we use the escalate it, there is always law and they are complying, stoping and waiting is bad, we got reduced from 20-30 cars because they refused to comply, it is not easy.

What is the management going concerning motorbike riders clustering at the entrance of the terminal soliciting for passengers? 

It is difficult, everyone is traveling sometimes because of cost the taxi, care hires, we are there, we don’t want accidents. Sometimes because of over head and costs, they can’t take a taxi. We can not also disenfranchised people who can not afford a taxi. It is difficult but what we do is to station our security to be monitoring them. We have difficult cases, we have the CCTV system, once they step of our territory they are no longer on our hands, we are looking at alternative affordable measures for passengers.

How do you handle airlines delays in the terminal especially when passengers get angry as a result of cancellations and others? 

We sometimes become the green grass under two big elephants, we are just a terminal facility providers and at the same time, we must take responsibility for everyone, to ensure that we are able to sensitize everyone, including the airlines and passengers too about what everyone’s rights are. It is called the ICAO rights. There is a clause called clause 19 which explains the rights of the airlines and the rights of the passengers.

The Consumer Protection Unit is also responsible, the delays could be weather or other external factors, not the fault of the airlines, or some pilots don’t arrive, a lot in communication, sensitization or taking responsibility, we always encourage our airlines, can you always communicate do not allow to be afraid to face up to reality, there are certain things that need to be taught. 

We are working hand with our regulatory bodies when it comes to communicating, disseminating. There’s what we call creepy delay at 10pm at night when the delay has become creepy. We are working with the airlines, we have to power up the ACs and other, we cant say that because of that we will not allow the system to work.

We can do a lot, make sure that there’s conflict management, we will be okay.

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