The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has disclosed that it is on the verge of certifying the MurtalaMuhammed International Airport, Lagos.
This is in line with the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which audited the four major airports in the country in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt recently.
Nigeria passed the audit, which paved the way for NCAA certification process. When certified, the Lagos airport would be rated among the best in the world in terms of safety and security.
The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Murhktar Usman who confirmed this to THISDAY, noted that during the audit, there were open items which were recommended to be closed by ICAO and the regulatory body has gone far in closing the items, hence the certification of the airport.
“The areas of shortfall we had we are developing the corrective action plan to ensure that we recover them. Part of it was the none-certification of our international airports. And I am also happy to announce that we have almost completed it, in fact we are at the last stage of certifying Lagos airport. The certification would have been done since the 2006 audit, so 10 years later, and since I came just shortly over a year ago, we are at the last stage of certification. And Abuja is to follow and the other international airports also,” the Director-General said.
After the certification, Lagos airport would be recognised worldwide as meeting all safety and security standards and it would receive international recognition and approval for any kind of aircraft to fly in, land and takeoff at the airports.
Only very few countries in Africa have been certified and the certification would further boost the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations as a country with very high safety standards.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has provided critical equipment on the airside of the Lagos airport and the other major airports in order to enhance landing and take off of flights.
The agency has installed airfield lightings, upgraded the runway and rehabilitated other landing aids at the Lagos airport.
In the past, obsolete infrastructure had been a drawback to certifying the airport but with modern security equipment, the installation of X-ray machines at the entrance of and other areas of the international terminal, the rehabilitation of the airside and the tightening of security both at the landside and the airside have prepared the Lagos airport for certification.