The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has called on the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to provide modern safety equipment in other airports.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, made the call during an inspection tour of the Kaduna International Airport on Tuesday.
Onyejeocha said: ‘‘I am impressed with NAMA facilities at this airport and we want them to replicate it in other airports in the country.
‘‘We are concerned about safety of passengers and we have seen the perimeter fencing and other work ongoing.”
Onyejeocha said the airport had met the minimum safety standards in terms of navigational aids such as Instrument Landing System, power supply and terminal building.
According to her, the terminal building is small considering the numbers of passengers that currently patronise the airport.
The chairperson disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to ascertain the level of safety compliance of the airport based on the allegations of safety standards issues.
Onyejeocha added that the committee would come out with its findings in due course.
She said: ‘‘Generally speaking, we have seen and we hope that they will fast track to make sure that passengers are comfortable and safety is ensured.
‘‘Seriously speaking, the terminal building is small to contain the huge traffic that we are experiencing now.
“We believe that before long, they would finish because we found out that some parts of the building is yet to be completed.
‘‘I won’t deceive anybody, at least they have achieved minimum standard of safety.”
Onyejeocha also called on FAAN and NAMA to replicate those safety measures at Maiduguri and Bauchi airports, being security flash point in the country.
She stated: “Due to the security challenge we have in Maiduguri, that airport should be very active in case there is any emergency.
“So, the ILS should operate 24 hours non-stop because of security of lives and property is very paramount and you know in aviation, we preach safety up to XYZ and Maiduguri is a flash point.”
The Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, assured the committee members that all safety measures were being taken care of at the airport.
He gave assurance that the remaining works would be completed very soon.
Dunoma said that airport was being operated within the required standards by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
He, however, debunked the allegation that ordinary fuel tankers were being allowed to dispense Jet A1 to aircraft, describing it as false.
Dunoma said: ‘‘All the allegations raised are not true because you have gone round and have seen things for yourselves with the members of the House Committee on Aviation.
‘‘There is nowhere a 33,000-litre tanker is dispensing fuel to aircraft.
‘‘At the FAAN apron, and the fuel dump, they have gone there and have seen it, there is none there.
‘‘There is nothing like ordinary tanker that comes from the city to come here and dispense fuel.”
Governor Darius Ishiaku of Taraba State commended the Federal Government for doing a good job at the Kaduna International Airport.
Ishiaku urged the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government to ensure the sustainability of international flight operations at the airport.
He also urged the House Committee on Aviation to work with the state government to ensure that the airport remained relevant and operational, to make it act as an alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A passenger, Abdou Sodje, told the News Agency of Nigeria that he arrived from Paris, France through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said the experience was the same as landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Sodje, who said the only difference was the trouble of traveling by road to Abuja, observed that the arrangement by the government was impressive.
He expressed hope that Abuja airport would be re-opened on April 19 as promised by the Federal Government.
NAN reports that Kaduna airport has been busy in the last three weeks following the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for its runway repairs.