The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has faulted a recent ranking, which had Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State as the worst in the world.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos by Yakubu Dati, FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ranking by SleepingInAirports.net rated the Port Harcourt International Airport as “the dirtiest and most corrupt airport in Africa”.
But FAAN, in its statement, said: “Our stand is that the said ranking was unfounded as it did not take cognisance of the fact that the airport terminal was still undergoing remodeling.
“Some of its terminal operations are still conducted in a temporary structure.”
The statement pointed out that the existing domestic terminal, from which both international and local flights were conducted, was undergoing remodeling.
The statement by Dati added: “Apart from this, construction work is also in progress at the site of the new international terminal.
“We believe that operations at such an airport where construction work is going on simultaneously with normal flight and related operations cannot be as conducive as in those airports where there are no on-going construction projects.
“Neither can environments at such different scenarios be equally clean.”
It said FAAN was aware of the enormous challenges posed by the peculiar operational situation at the airport and had taken several measures to alleviate the difficulties faced by passengers and other airport users.
According to the statement, one of such measures includes closing down one of the tents and moving operations there to some sections of the remodeled terminal, even when work in those sections were not fully completed.
It said: “We wish to assure all passengers, airline operators and other airport users that services at our airports are delivered at recommended international standards that ensure safety, security and comfort.
“While we regret any inconvenience experienced at these airports, including Port Harcourt International Airport, due to on-going construction projects, we promise that services at these airports will surely get better at the completion of these projects.”