By Emmanuel Aziken, Abuja
The Senate has demanded the suspension of todayâ€™s handover of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport to Bi-Courtney Nigeria Limited.
The Senate demand upon protest by Arik Air to suspend further operations in the country is to allow the Senate committee on Aviation intervene towards a successful resolution of the dispute, Chairman of the committee, Senator Anyim Ude said in a statement yesterday.
The Senate intervention is upon misgivings expressed by Arik Air on the handover of the GAT to Bi-Courtney which is presently operating the privately run MMA 2 terminal under a concession agreement between the company and the Federal Government.
The company is reportedly claiming that its agreement with the Federal Government also gives it the right to run the GAT which is the base of Arik Air domestic operations.
The committeeâ€™s demand articulated in a statement issued by the Committee Clerk, Mr. Aborisade A. Victor read thus:
â€œThe attention of the Senate Committee on Aviation has been drawn to media reports on a decision by the Federal Government to hand-over Grand Aviation Terminal 2 at the local wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos to Bi-Courtney Nigeria Limited on Saturday, 19th September, 2009.â€
â€œThe Committee has also noted media reports on the threats by Arik Airlines to suspend its services if the Federal Government eventually hands over the GAT2 to Bi_Courtney Nigeria Limited.â€
â€œThe Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator (Elder) Anyim Ude (MON) has therefore advised the Honourable Minister of Aviation and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice to suspend the hand_over until Senate Committee on Aviation intervenes in the matter, with a view to resolving all the issues involved to avoid the looming crisis in the aviation sector.â€