Port Harcourt Airport Manager, Mr. Felix Akinbinu, has explained the reasons for the delay of airlines serving Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in occupying the newly opened Airport Building.
Noting that airlines still operate out of the Terminal building, he said the nature of airlines’ business operations is such that it makes them operate out of the terminal building to meet passenger boarding requirements.
Akinbinu, who revealed this while interacting with aviation correspondents, claimed that the newly commissioned airline building is not just for airlines.
He said that it is an office space for use by any group or individual, although it bears the name “Airline Building”.
According to him, the airlines will continue to operate from the terminal building because the newly commissioned airline building will provide additional office space for the airlines to accommodate their other activities and staff.
“To be honest, what we have in the new airline building is only eight office spaces, and it’s not just for airlines, it’s open to everyone or groups that need office space.
“It’s not that we’re ordering airlines out of the terminal building, not at all, because they’re going to operate in the terminal building for the convenience of their business and passenger facilitation.
“Nor is it a problem of disobedience on your part for continuing to operate in the terminal building. All they will do is acquire additional office space for their staff and operations,” Akinbinu said.
Tide’s previous verification showed that the new airline building is located at a location away from the terminal building, making it difficult for airlines to access, considering their style of business operations.
Some airline officials with whom The Tide interacted stated that they will not operate out of the airline’s new building because it was located across the main road from the airport, away from the terminal.
Therefore, they urged the airport management to consider the nature of its operations and create alternatives for them.
It should be recalled that Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Salisu Yadudu, represented by Director of Operations, Murktar Munye, had led the airline’s building commissioning ceremony in early December last year, to the airport manager to ensure that the airlines occupy the building immediately.
This, he said, was to decongest the terminal building. But the building has not yet been occupied.
By: Corlins Walter