The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria had earlier pointed out that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport has become congested.
The MMIA Airport Manager, Mrs Victoria Shin-Aba, on Tuesday said the airport, which was inaugurated in 1979 with a few international flights, was in urgent need of decongestion and expansion to accommodate the rising quantity of passengers and airlines. The process of decongesting the airport, she said, was currently ongoing.
She said, “This airport was built about 40 years ago and there have been no major structural changes except some remodelling but not on the entire airport, especially the airside. Over time, we have had growth in passenger traffic and the number of airlines in operation.
“Currently, we operate 272 movements per day with 123 arrivals. On the domestic side at the General Aviation Terminal, we have 27 daily arrivals and 32 departures while on the cargo side, we have 30 daily arrivals and 20 departures. We appreciate the fact that traffic has grown and we have had many developments within the terminals but most of the remodelling have been on the landside; the airside remains the same, we use one manual.”
Shin-Aba said the MMIA had 14 air bridges and four remote parking bays; the cargo terminal had four parking bays while the GAT had 14 parking bays.
She included that efforts were currently ongoing for expansion of the airport, adding that it would create four more parking bays for two wide-bodied and two normal aircraft at the cargo wing.
Shin-Aba, however, stated that the airport had been constricted by parked non-serviceable and serviceable aircraft belonging to some airlines.
According to her, the parked aircraft have rendered it difficult for others to manoeuvre to either taxi to take off or park.
She stated that the parked aircraft had also become a source of concern as it could cause a security breach.
She said, “The overcrowding of the apron discourages investors because they always want to operate where they can function easily. We have reached out to the airlines to move their aircraft, we even offered to move them to other airports and we are willing to wave parking charges for them.
“The reason these aircraft are parked here is because the airline operators are not paying parking charges. This is their base and they have the advantage of not paying for parking. So, we have been making overtures to them to see how the issue can be resolved. We have informed them that they can relocate the serviceable aircraft to other less busy airports.”
She said there was a need for the agency to provide more apron, capacity and also review its bye-laws, which it was working on.
“If we had punitive measures, people will be more cautious. But on our part, we will work on expansion; the cargo wing will be expanded, though work had stopped on the site when completed, we will have space for eight bays while at the domestic wing, we will have four more bays when it is completed,” Shin-Aba added.

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