Aviation ministry promises smooth flight operations
The Federal Ministry of Aviation has assured Nigerians at home and those on pilgrimage to Mecca of smooth flight operations during and after the Eid el-Kabir celebrations.
A statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, an Assistant Director, Press and Public Affairs in the ministry, on Wednesday in Abuja, stated that the Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Binta Bello gave the assurance in a congratulatory message to Nigerian Muslims as they join other faithful worldwide to mark the end of the year’s pilgrimage.
It stated that the Bello had directed all agencies of the ministry to ensure safe and uninterrupted flight operations, promptness of flights, safety and security of passengers at all the nation’s airports during the celebration.
According to the statement, Bello also warned airline operators against using the usual rush to exploit travellers.
She charged the operators to make their operations more passenger-centred with serious attention to flight availability and timeliness, comfort of passengers and safe practices.
She assures the nation of the safety of Nigerian airports as confirmed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) during its recent security audit of the nation’s aviation facilities.
Bello added that the collaboration between aviation security and other relevant agencies had resulted in a “robust and an almost unassailable security set-up at the airports”.
The statement further said that the Permanent Secretary gave assurance that with the ministry’s close collaboration with the National Hajj Commission, airline operators and the Saudi authorities, the return airlift of pilgrims would be safe, smooth and on schedule.
“Bello called on all Nigerians, irrespective of religious leanings, to support the Buhari Administration in its drive to reposition not only the aviation sector, but other facets of the nation’s endeavours,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, witnessed heavy passenger movement on Wednesday to different parts of the country for Eid el-Kabir celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the traffic was more on the domestic wing and the departure section of the airport.
Mr Abdullahi Saroke, the Deputy Station Manager, Azman Airline, told NAN that the passengers turnout was not as expected, adding that people were not travelling as it used to be during festive period.
Saroke said that airlines were not experiencing the usual rush associated with travelling during celebration, adding that all their flights were on time.
“The turnout of passengers is not as expected, compared to what we used to have during celebrations like this but it is okay.
“There is nothing like flight delays and cancellation on our side here and all the passengers are adequately taken care of accordingly,’’ he said.
A traveller, Malam Umar Abubakar, said he did not experience the usual rush as expected and commended the Federal Government for the expansion of the airport.
He said he was travelling to Kano to celebrate the Eid el-Kabir with his family and prayed for the peace and prosperity of Nigeria.
Mrs Habiba Audu, a Civil Servant, said she was travelling to Ilorin to celebrate the Eid el-Kabir with her family, adding that her flight was for 2 p.m.
Audu urged the government to complete the ongoing construction work at the airport as quickly as possible, to solve the problem of gridlock on the road to the terminal.