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Hadi Sirika Reiterates Plan to Demolish Privately-Owned Hangars to Expand New Terminal at Lagos Airport

Hadi Sirika Reiterates Plan to Demolish Privately-Owned Hangars to Expand New Terminal at Lagos Airport


Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has reiterated his determination to demolish two private terminal facilities – Evergreen Apple Nigeria and Dominion Hangar – in the next few weeks to create space for the expansion of the apron of the new international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The state-of-the-art terminal was unveiled early last year, but since then it has not been fully utilised due to limited aircraft maneuvering space because of the small apron that cannot accommodate wide-body aircraft like Boeing B777 and others.


The minister made this known in Lagos at the weekend at the unveiling of new fire fighting vehicles, adding that it was necessary that the apron of the new terminal was expanded so that the facility would be fully utilised.

He noted that the practice of moving passengers to the old terminal after checking them in at the new facility was cumbersome and time consuming.

“We are not operating Lagos airport at full capacity. We have some obstructions that will be removed within the next one or two weeks to expand the apron so that Lagos will have full use 100 per cent of the new terminal.


“We are going to demolish Dominion Hangar and Evergreen Apple Nigeria hangar to make way for the new apron and that would be in a few weeks,” he said.

On the acquisition of new fire tenders, Sirika said the absence of fire cover at any aerod airport or inadequate fire cover was enough to either shutdown or downgrade the facility.

He recalled that the Sosoliso crash, which took place at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa on December 10, 2005, and killed 108 out of 110 on board, was tragically devastating because the fire could have been put off if there were adequate fire-fighting vehicles.

He remembered the Loyola Jesuit students who died in the crash and said lack of fire cover guaranteed the death of the children who even survived the crash because they were later roasted alive by the fire.


The federal government acquired 10 Volkan Lion 6×6 fire fighting vehicles, which were delivered to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Aeronautical Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) worth over N12 billion.

According to the Minister, the importance of the safety equipment could not be emphasised enough because they were key to safety, security and efficient take off and landinging of flights.

“To non- aviators and onlookers, you see fire-fighting equipment, but the importance and relevance is not brought onto focus, especially for people watching from afar whose only concern is to board aircraft and use air conditioned terminals.


“Well for us, that is important too, but most important is to keep you safe. You all remember our children that left Abuja for Port Harcourt in the Sosoliso crash? We couldn’t save those children because even though the plane landed, crashed; they were still alive but the airport did not have adequate fire cover to save those ones and parents were seeing their children burnt alive, children they sent to school. That is so sad.

“For 15 years, no fire tender has been supplied to us, we just cannibalise two or three to make one. And the absence of fire cover is the number one reason to shut down airports and even if you dont have enough, you downgrade the airport to a lower category,” he said

Speaking earlier, in his opening remark, the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, said the 10 super-structure, ultra-modern major firefighting vehicles were to be deployed to MMA Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (MAKIA); disclosing that FAAN was processing additional vehicles for Port-Harcourt and Enugu airports.

Giving a breakdown of the capabilities of the equipment, Yadudu said,” Each vehicle not only carries 14,000 litres of water; 1,700 litres of foam and 250kg powder capacity; it also monitors the discharge rate of between 6,000Litres to 10,000 Litres per minute. Acceleration rate is from 0 to 80km/hr in 30 seconds.

“The truck can discharge while in motion (professional pump and roll operation) and is equipped with under chassis nozzles to tackle running fuel fire. These vehicles would be deployed to MMA Lagos, NAIA Abuja and MAKIA Kano while we are also processing for additional vehicles for Port-Harcourt and Enugu.”

(Arise News)


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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