Ahead the June 21 date for airports reopening, after the coronavirus disease-induced lockdown, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has met with Germany’s Munich Airport International to learn ways of handling its post-COVID-19 operations.
FAAN said that in an effort to begin the reopening of some of the airports in the country, it held a Skype meeting with Munich Airport to compare notes on the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on the airports.
Munich has successfully re-opened its airport and has recommenced domestic and international flights, so it is worth sharing their experience with them, according to the MD of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu.
Further, FAAN intends to begin involving itself in route development and, therefore, collaborative efforts between Munich and FAAN can help in that direction.
The meeting, which was at the instance of Yadudu, had in attendance the Munich Airport Expert Team – Herbert Keffel, Georgios Elkolids and Julian Duerdoth – and was coordinated by the Managing Director of FCI International Limited, Fortune Idu, with the Director of Finance, Mrs. Nike Aboderin, leading Nigeria’s team of 30 participants.
The aim was to assess the readiness of FAAN to gradually begin operations, following the Federal Government’s directive for reopening of the four regional airports.
In initiating the meeting, Yadudu had commented that “while FAAN is responding to the guidelines set by NCAA for gradual airport reopening and post-COVID-19 operations, it is important also to compare notes with other airports in the world to make sure we are on the right track and join the global industry in building back travel confidence.”
The presentation via Skype simulated from Germany and England was tagged Rapid Aviation Plan by Elkolids.
Keffel highlighted the steps and considerations Munich adopted towards the successful reopening of the airport.
“Though there are guidelines issued by International Civil Aviation Organisation and Airport Council International for the purpose of the reopening, the guidelines become more successful if they are adapted based on the peculiarities of the airport environment which Munich has successfully done,” Yadudu said.
In response to a question raised by Aboderin on the issue of orderly management of human traffic in a relatively small airport space, the Munich airport team not only compared notes on how they carried out flow management and social distancing orders with the FAAN team, but also showed willingness to continue the backend cooperation and information sharing to help build traffic, passenger confidence and improve operational efficiency, non-aeronautical services and route development.
In concluding the meeting, Idu said he wanted to see the formation of a development partnership between the two organisations for the betterment of the industry and to enable FAAN’s airports learn and aspire to operate high standards of airport services like Munich Airport.
This, according to him, will put some of Nigeria’s airports at the top of the region.