Air travellers across the country will have to seek alternative means of transportation, following the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, denying petroleum marketers access to various airports over incremental tariffs.
Vanguard gathered that the access restriction started today (Thursday) at the Abuja airport and plans are underway to extend it to other airports managed by FAAN.
Nigeria has 32 airports, 26 of which are operated by the FAAN, and five of which are functional international airports. It also has a state-owned airport located in Akwa Ibom State.
Currently the ramp or parking pad in Abuja airport is now congested, as most airlines have more than two aircraft on ground.
Findings showed that the airport authority is currently restricting access to all fuel marketers.
It was gathered that the reason being that they instituted a 100 percent increment in Apron pass charges and require them to pay urgently.
At the moment, no petroleum marketers are being allowed into the apron so no fuel vendors.
An authoritative source within the sector told Vanguard that the marketers were not informed of any tariff review before now.
But when Vanguard contacted FAAN’s Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, she declined to comment on the development.
However, an Aviation analyst, Olumide Ohunayo told Vanguard that the development will greatly impact airlines operations today.
He said: “This will bring massive losses to the airlines who cannot operate their scheduled operations and the development is cascading to other routes. There are also other chattered operations which have been impacted by this development.
“From all indications, the development is going to continue throughout the day and possibly linger till the weekend if nothing is done to address it.
“Also, we understand that it is not just oil marketers that their apron pass was increased, they also increased that of ground handlers, and other organisations that operate in the airports. They started action with the petroleum marketers, in the coming days others will follow.
“Also, Lagos to Akure with 100 percent load factor of 4pm is now cancelled as they cannot meet up with sunset even if they depart with our normal schedule now. Akure to Lagos was 70 percent full. Passengers’ Easter plans destroyed because FAAN and Fuel marketers stand-off.”