By Chinedu Eze

 The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos has been rated the 5th busiest airport in Africa and one of the upcoming airports in the continent.

The airport, which comes after the ORTambo International Airport, Johannesburg, the Cairo International Airport, the Cape Town International Airport and the Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca, Morocco, is rated as one of the fastest growing in Africa with the new terminal which would go on stream later this year.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made a 20-year passenger growth forecast  that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034, which represented a 4.1 per cent average annual growth in demand for air connectivity and African airports were rated amongst the fastest-growing markets.

It is also projected that with its growth rate, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and other major airports in the country would benefit from the increased passenger movement with the expansion of the terminal facilities.

Also at the just concluded Airport Council International (ACI) Africa conference in Cairo, Egypt, the Director General of the Airport Council International (ACI) worldwide, Angela Gittens, gave kudos to FAAN for the successful International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) and urged the agency to guide other countries in Africa to attain similar safety and security standards it archived recently.

“We are very proud of how the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has improved on safety and security. I will hope that with the kind of success achieved, we would be able to call on them to help other airports,” Gittens said.

Spokesman of FAAN, Yakubu Dati said before the end of this year FAAN would be processing over 20 million passengers annually from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The existing 15 million passengers processed annually would be boosted when the new international terminal with the capacity for another 15 million passengers comes on stream late 2016.