By Kenneth Ehigiator
LAGOS — Space constraints on the apron of the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos may have been responsible for the delay in the early morning flights operated out of the airport.
Vanguard investigation revealed that spaces on the apron meant for parking for airlines on scheduled operations had been taken up by cargo aircraft, which operations are not regular, aircraft on ground, AOG, private jets and aircraft with technical problems.
Delays resulting from the space problem had over time set airlines against their passengers who complain of missing their appointments.
But Head, Corporate Communications of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Datti, said airlines alleging this as cause of delay in their morning flights were only looking for an excuse but noted that in the spirit of the Transformation Agenda of the present administration, plans were on to expand all aspects of airports across the country, including runway, taxiway, apron, amongst others.
Some airline passengers who bared their mind on the issue, spoke of the need for the aviation authorities to urgently expand the airport’s apron or evacuate particularly aircraft on ground to create enough space on the apron.
A passenger, Chuks Ukachi said: “It is unfortunate that airlines’ operations in Nigeria are still dogged by delays. On my way to Abuja last week, our flight was delayed for sometime and by the time I accosted the officials of the airline, they told me the delay was caused by space constraint on the apron.”
Reacting to the development, FAAN’s spokesman, Yakubu Datti, said airlines should not use inadequate space on the apron as an excuse to delay flights, noting that the area aircraft not on daily operations were packed was an extended portion of the apron.