Gradual Re-Opening: FAAN Holds Virtual Meeting With Munich Airport, Compares Notes

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As part of preparations to begin the reopening of some of the airports in the country, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has held a Skype meeting with Munich Airport International to share experiences and compare notes on the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the airports.

According to a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said that the meeting which was at the instance of the Managing Director of FAAN Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu had in attendance the Munich Airport Expert Team,   Herbert Keffel, Georgios Elkolids, and Julian Duerdoth and was coordinated by Mr. Fortune Idu, Managing Director of FCI International Ltd with the Director of Finance, Mrs. Nike Aboderin, as the team leader on the Nigerian side of FAAN 30 participants.

Yakubu said that the aim was to assess the readiness of FAAN to gradually begin operations, following the Federal Government’s directive for reopening of the four regional airports.

Initiating the meeting, Yadudu said that ‘while FAAN is responding to the guidelines set by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for gradual airport re-opening and post COVID-19 operations, it is important also to compare notes with other airports in the world to make sure FAAN is on the right track and has joined the global industry in building back travel confidence.

According to FAAN Managing Director, Munich Airport has successfully re-opened its airport and has recommenced domestic and international flights and that it is worth sharing their experience with FAAN.

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Speaking further Yadudu said that FAAN intends to involve itself in route development and therefore, collaborative efforts between Munich and FAAN can help in that direction.

The presentation that was via Skype simulated from Germany and England was tagged, “Rapid Aviation Plan” by Mr. Georgios Elkolids.

Herbert Keffel highlighted the steps and considerations, which Munich Airport International adopted towards the successful re-opening of the airport.

Though there are guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Airport Council International (ACI) for the purpose of the re-opening, the guidelines become more successful if they are adapted based on the peculiarities of the airport environment that Munich has successfully done.

Responding to a question raised by Aboderin, FAAN Director of Finance on the issue of orderly management of human traffic in a relatively small airport space, the Munich airport team not only compared notes on how they have carried outflow management and social distancing orders with the FAAN team but also showed a willingness to continue the backend co-operation and information sharing to help build traffic, passenger confidence and also improve operational efficiency, non-aeronautical services, and route development.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of the meeting, Mr. Fortune Idu said that he wants to see the formation of a development partnership between the two organisations for the betterment of the industry and to enable FAAN’s airports to learn and aspire to operate high standards of airport services like Munich Airport, adding that this will put some of Nigeria’s airports at the top of the region.

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