The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos is experiencing regular power outages, which aviation industry stakeholders have demanded be stopped.
Recall that there was a stir last Friday when there was a power outage at the MMIA. Following that, a social media video of travellers using their phones to brighten the airport in the dark went viral.
According to Daily Trust, there have previously been power outages at the busiest airport in Nigeria.
Prior to the Friday outage, there had been a disruption in aircraft operations on April 1, 2022, which resulted in the detention of hundreds of passengers.
Heavy rain that fell from late Friday until early Saturday, April 1, 2022, was the cause of the outage at that time.
A similar occurrence occurred in November 2018, and Engr Saleh Dunoma, the then-Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), blamed the incident on the multiple building projects underway at the airport.
Passengers and aviation stakeholders expressed outrage over the most recent outage, criticising the regular power failures at Nigeria’s busiest port of entry.
FAAN confirmed the event and said that the outage lasted no more than three minutes in a message that was published on their X (formerly Twitter) account.
“We experienced a two to three minute outage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport yesterday, February 2, 2024, while switching over to our backup power supply after losing power from the grid,” the message partially said.The electrical crew is making careful efforts to promptly restore the automated switch over after identifying the problems with it.
To make sure there isn’t another one, we have a strategy in place that makes use of other power sources.
Group Capt John Ojikutu (Rtd), a former MMIA Commandant, told our reporter that there should be repercussions for flight interruptions brought on by a power supply outage.
“Let there be consequences on the service providers,” he said. Let the NCAA impose laws on the key service providers, particularly on electricity supply, and let the services compensate those whose businesses are impacted.
“That is one major reason why FAAN cannot continue to be the major service provider for all the operators,” he said. Return the aeronautical services to NAMA and concession all non-aeronautical services at the airports. Establish FAAN as a holding corporation for the concessioned properties, such as the power supply, land areas, tollgates, parking lots, and passenger and freight terminals. The aerodrome control (NAMA) should be in charge of the runways, taxiways, and lights related to them.
Mr. Babatunde Adeniji, an aviation management expert, assigned the federal government the responsibility of giving priority to repairing basic infrastructure, such as consistent electricity supplies at airports.
“It’s impossible to know how to stop it without understanding the underlying cause, but we should demand a resolution from FAAN and better performance moving forward,” he said.