With more people taking to flying than before, cities around the world are building new airports and upgrading old terminals to create facilities capable of handling tens of millions of passengers. WOLE SHADARE writes
There is no question that in a world of open borders and global connections, mobility is a mega-trend. Air travel and transport generally are benefiting from this rapid development like no other mode of transportation. The challenge, then, is to manage this growth efficiently, securely, and safely and in a way that is compatible with the environment. It is also to bring airports’ entire infrastructure up to world-class standard and keep it there – from take-off and landing through ticketing.
Airport expansion is a key part of improving urban America’s infrastructure. The ability of major metros to attract corporations, workers and tourists depends at least in part on whether their airports can provide cheap, frequent flights around the world.
This has caused many municipalities to publicly subsidise mass expansions. Prominent among nations that are investing billions of dollars are Singapore, Istanbul, Dubai, United States, United Kingdom and China.
With more people than ever flying, cities around the world are building new airports and upgrading old terminals to create facilities capable of handling tens of millions of passengers.
The results are modern, stylish architectural statements that banish the dark, crowded travel spaces of the past.
Istanbul New Airport
Turkey has great ambitions to become a new meeting point between east and west. Its national carrier, Turkish Airlines, already flies to more countries than any other airline globally, and with the prosaically named Istanbul New Airport opening soon, the country now has a gateway to be proud of.
Replacing the older Atatürk Airport, it is a mega hub that will eventually be capable of handling 150 million passengers per year, perhaps even rivaling Dubai in terms of connecting travelers.
The airport’s official opening is scheduled for October 29, but the latest reports say it won’t be fully operational until the end of 2018.
Already open and handling cargo plus a small selection of passenger flights, Al Maktoum International Airport southwest of downtown Dubai is likely to one day be the largest and busiest in the world if the plans are to be believed.
Al Maktoum — commonly known as Dubai World Central — will one day have five runways, three terminals and be home to the huge fleets of superjumbos operated by Emirates. It will boast shorter walking distances for passengers, and a high-speed rail link to the center of Dubai.
The world’s favourite airport and Asian mega-hub, Singapore Changi, is eagerly working towards opening its new Jewel and Terminal 5.
The Jewel is an impressive glass multi-use area connecting the existing terminals and introducing shopping, eating and entertainment facilities for passengers and visitors to use. It will feature the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, and is set to open in 2019.
Terminal 5 will open to the east of the current terminals in the mid-2020s, with a capacity of 50 million annual passengers.
LaGuardia Airport (New York)
Coming not a minute too soon is the complete revamp and rebuild of the terminals and taxiways at New York’s crowded LaGuardia airport to create one unified terminal structure with more gates and more space, capable of handling the thousands of daily passengers.
The old low ceilings and cramped corridors in a confusing mix of different terminals will make way for light, airy spaces with plenty of windows and new amenities.
Other improvements include new parking facilities, taxiways, and a vital link to the New York City Metro.
Beijing Daxing International Airport
Another new airport for 2019 is Daxing International, which also has ambitions to become the largest and busiest in the world.
It will feature one of the largest passenger terminals in the world, which simultaneously reduces the amount of walk-time passengers need to undertake compared to similar hubs.
It will soon become home to China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, which will move from the existing Beijing Capital Airport.
With a high-speed rail connection to the city and new motorway network, it has been built with the future in mind, with an eventual space for 100 million passengers per year and seven runways as China’s aviation industry continues to grow.
Africa takes back seat
While countries in Asia and the United States are building bigger airport terminals to make for growth in passenger capacity, African countries are trying their best to plan for the future to take more capacity.
While they spend several billions of dollars for infrastructure at the airports, many of the aerodromes are not viable.
Despite the huge sum of money spent to develop Nigerian airports, many of them are very unviable. For instance, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, regarded as Nigeria’s busiest airport, only records between 10 and 11 million passengers annually both for international and domestic passengers.
Many of the airport terminals embarked upon between 2012 and 2014 to many amounted to waste of resources. Perhaps, Nigeria would have built world class terminal at least in Lagos or Abuja had the over $1 billion spent on airport remodeling project spent on one modern aerodrome like what is obtained in Accra or Dakar.
Statistics for 2018 passenger traffic across the African continent shows that OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, ranked as the busiest airport with 21,231,510. Cairo International Airport ranked second with 15,010,501; Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa recorded 12,143,938 traffic; Cape Town International Airport came fourth with 10,752,246 passengers.
Others were Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca ranked fifth with 9,748,567; Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers came sixth on the ranking with 7,900,000; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi recorded 7,039,175; Hurghada International Airport, Egypt had 6,600,000 and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos came in 11th position with 6,500,000.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja recorded 3,600,000 coming behind Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, Egypt with 3,700,000 traffic.
Ghana, with its brand new terminal, processed 4.3 million passengers in 2018. No doubt, the country is building for the future and planning for massive passenger boost for the future.
Huge population, low traffic
Africa is home to about 1.2 billion people and considered the second largest continent. The total traffic for the 15 international airports in Africa for 2018 is approximately 115 million, little over the total 85,907,423 traffic for Atlanta Hartfield reputed to be the busiest airport in the world.
The new Istanbul Airport, which is capable of processing about 150 million passengers annually, is more than the entire traffic of over 15 major airports in the continent of Africa.
Director, Government, Legal and Industry, African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Aaron Munetsi, disclosed that only 19 per cent capacities of 419 African airports were utilised, while the other 81 per cent remain grossly under utilised.
In order to effectively use the airports to their full capacities, Munetsi called for cooperation among African governments, saying that it was necessary for them to open up their airspace in order to increase traffic to them.
According to Munetsi, “the fact remains that airports on the continent are so under-utilised. The statistics that was shared recently by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that all the airports in Africa only utilise 19 per cent of their capacities, which means over 80 per cent are abandoned.
“Even, the busiest airports, 80 per cent of their facilities are abandoned. The idea is to make sure that the ones we have are utilised to the maximum. It is only when we exceed their utilisation capacity that we can think of building new airports.”
This conundrum is at the heart of the challenge facing airport operators as they plan for the future. Unless an airport’s facilities drive the local economy forward and provide benefits back to the community, local politics can hamper or even stop progress in its tracks.
Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer
Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.
The U.S. singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.
He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-cancelling headphones to “make beats”.
Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding”, has requested the rapper to retract his statement, reports Reuters.
“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.
Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalised,” they said in a statement.
On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”
He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”
As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.
He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.
“This is what Twitter is for…we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.
Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.
Last remains of Ethiopian plane crash victims buried, families say little notice given
The last remains of 157 people killed aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane in March were interred at the crash site, farmers and families told Reuters, but some relatives were upset they had been unable to take part in the ceremony.
Nadia Milleron, whose daughter Samya Stumo was killed, said an email was sent to some families — but not all — notifying them of the burial just two days before it happened.
“By the time the burial took place I was just wiped out; I was just glad they were doing it. I was tired of it not being done,” said Milleron. “But a lot of people didn’t feel like that. They hadn’t been aware of what was happening.”
Ethiopian Airlines did not return calls seeking comment about why some families were not told in advance.
Families have been begging the airline to fill in the crater left by the March 10 crash, which still contained remains too small to be recovered.
Milleron said on Saturday that locals had been burying remains exposed by rains in small mounds of earth. She herself found a bone at the site when she visited Ethiopia to collect her daughter’s remains in October, which she told the airline about in an email.
The force of the impact meant no complete bodies were recovered; partial remains were tested for DNA and finally returned to families last month.
As the burial took place on Thursday, a U.S. embassy representative present kept Milleron updated by text: “Now they’re laying the coffins down, now they’re putting earth on them …”
“I became a blubbering mess,” she said.
Milleron said the lack of notice of the burial ceremony had raised tensions between the families and Ethiopian Airlines.
“We are looking into taking legal action against EA – not of course to exhume and re-organise the burial, that’s done – but to make sure we secure a leading role in planning for a future memorial,” said Adrian Toole, a British father whose daughter Joanna was aboard the plane.
“EA are clearly on a corporate strategy to ‘tidy up’ the remaining issues so as to get the whole episode out of the public eye.”
Representatives of the airline and of Boeing and some embassy employees were there. The Boeing representatives were on a prearranged trip to discuss community projects, Milleron said.
Boeing manufactured the 737 MAX 8 plane, which nosedived shortly after take-off. A preliminary investigation pointed to a malfunctioning anti-stall system known as MCAS, which was also implicated in the crash of a Lion Air plane in Indonesia five months earlier. All 189 people onboard that flight were killed.
Tesfaye Mulatu, a farmer near the crash site, said he had seen a helicopter arrive and cars bring caskets on Thursday. The crater left by the impact has been filled in, he said.
“Now, the area looks a football field,” he told Reuters by telephone.
Some bereaved families have formed associations and hope to use funds from Boeing to build a memorial. The manufacturer will make $100 million available, with half going to families and half to projects in local communities.
“We continue to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 and we are committed to helping those affected by these tragedies,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said.
SAA workers start strike that could cripple airline
Workers at South African Airways (SAA) downed tools on Friday in a strike over wages and job cuts that has forced the troubled state-owned carrier to cancel all flights and left its future hanging in the balance.
SAA, which has not turned a profit since 2011 and is without a permanent CEO, says the strike by unions representing around 3,000 of its 5,000-strong workforce will cost it 50 million rand ($3.36 million) per day and threatens its survival.
The unions rejected SAA’s wage offer late on Thursday, and are also striking over the carrier’s plans to cut more than 900 jobs in a bid to stem financial losses and become viable without the state bailouts it has relied on so far, reports Reuters.
SAA’s acting chief financial officer, Deon Fredericks, told the eNCA news channel that the airline, hurt by past mismanagement, could not just close its eyes and carry on.
“We’ll just go deeper down,” he said.
SAA is trying to negotiate much-needed funding from banks, Fredericks told radio station 702, but added the strike would hurt the talks as it would have a negative impact on cash flow. “If we don’t get that funding we will not be able to continue.”
The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) called the SAA strike from 0200 GMT on Friday. NUMSA has said it will continue until the unions’ demands, including for an 8% wage increase and job security, are met.
The action is not an attempt to hurt the airline but force the government to intervene so its board and management make the right decisions, SACCA President Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said.
“In our eyes this is an attempt to save (SAA) from its current management and board,” she told 702 on Friday.
Two other unions at SAA representing about 2,500 employees mostly in technical and mid-management jobs said they would go to the labour court to block the airline’s plan to cut jobs.
SAA, which cancelled all flights on Saturday, is among a number of state-run firms that are battling tough financial conditions after years of poor governance and so-called ‘state capture’ – widespread corruption involving billions of rands worth of state contracts during Jacob Zuma’s presidency.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has staked his reputation on turning them around.
Direct Qantas flight completes non-stop journey from London to Sydney
A non-stop flight from London to Sydney has landed, 19 hours and 19 minutes after take-off.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is believed to have set a long-distance record for a passenger jet, reports standard.co.uk.
It left Heathrow around 6am (local time) on Thursday and touching down at Sydney Airport at 12:28pm on Friday (1.30am UK time).
The flight was conducted to research the effects on crew and passengers of ultra-long-haul services which are under consideration by the airline.
It was carrying 40 people, many of them Qantas staffers.
Those on board witnessed two sunrises, the first to the right of the aircraft as it headed north-east after takeoff, and the second to its left as it flew over Indonesia.
Aside from research, the flight kicked off a year of celebrations for the centenary of the airline, which will officially turn 99 on Saturday.
Qantas Chairman, Richard Goyder said the flight continued the airline’s history of helping Australia engage with the rest of the world.
“Qantas is a national icon because it’s been such a big part of Australian life for so long,” Goyder said in a statement.
“Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we’ve moved from bi-planes, to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer.”
S’African Airways cancels flights, offers striking employees new wage increase
South African Airways (SAA) has canceled flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of a pending strike by a majority of employees but said on Thursday it hoped its revised wage offer would avert the walkout at the state-run carrier.
SAA has failed to turn a profit since 2011 while relying on state bailouts to fund a growing financing gap.
The airline is also without a permanent chief executive and has yet to file annual results for the two most recent financial years because of concerns about its viability as a business, reports Reuters.
Unions representing about 3,000 of its 5,000-member workforce said on Wednesday that cabin crew and other workers would strike over wages and plans to the cut more than 900 jobs.
The carrier said on Wednesday it might never recover if the strike went ahead.
Unions are demanding an immediate 8% increase, and on Thursday SAA after late night negotiations said it would offer a 5.9% raise from April when it hopes to have secured the necessary funding.
“The increase is not immediately available. We can only implement it once we have secured funding,” SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said during a live interview on television news channel eNCA.
“We have a meeting scheduled for today at 2 o’clock and we are hopeful we will be able to resolve the issue … It will include all the unions … and if the meeting yields positive results we will then activate some contingency plans that will allow us to reinstate flights,” said Tlali.
Only flights directly operated by SAA would be affected. Flights by subsidiaries Mango, SA Express and SA Air Link, as well as those of private operators, would not be affected, SAA said.
The airline said it expected unions to respond at an emergency meeting at 1200 GMT.
Unions said the strike would begin at 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Friday and go on indefinitely. They are calling on SAA’s check-in, ticket sales, head office, technical staff and ground staff to take part.
Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) that is leading the strike with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), said the offer was unacceptable.
“They really need to get serious, 5.9% simply won’t cut it. It’s just over 1% more that we are asking for and we think its attainable, so last night we asked SAA (negotiators) to go and get a fresh mandate from management,” said Nsibanyoni-Mugambi.
Numsa spokeswoman Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the union was still consulting its members on whether to accept or reject the revised wage offer.
SAA airline flies around 6.8 million passengers annually to six continents with routes to New York, London and Hong Kong among its eight international offerings.
Qantas flight from London to Sydney with no stops takes off
A Qantas aeroplane has set off on an ultra-long haul flight from London to Sydney as part of a trial for a potential commercial route.
The test flight, as part of Qantas’s Project Sunrise, will see a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner carry just 40 people – including crew – to the other side of the world in approximately 19 hours.
The flight was scheduled to leave London at 6am and arrive into Sydney around lunchtime on Friday, a Qantas spokesman said.
A Dreamliner can usually carry between 230 and 300 people, depending on its interior set-up, reports metro.co.uk.
Currently it is impossible to fly an aeroplane at full capacity of both passengers and cargo from cities on the east coast of Australia to London without stopping to refuel.
It is possible to fly non-stop from London to the city of Perth in Western Australia as it is 1,600 miles closer.
Despite vowing to slash carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050, the Australian airline is testing the viability of the London to Sydney route as a regular commercial flight.
The airline said all carbon emissions from Thursday’s take-off will be fully offset.
Those on board will be mostly Qantas employees and will be fitted with monitors to track their sleep patterns, food and drink intake, lighting, physical movement and in-flight entertainment.
The data will be assessed by researchers from the Charles Perkins Centre – a medical institute at the University of Sydney – to assess the impact of the flight on their health, wellbeing and body clock.
A team from Melbourne’s Monash University will work with pilots and crew to monitor melatonin levels before, during and after the flight. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles.
Pilots will wear a device that tracks brainwave patterns and monitors alertness, Qantas said, to gather data on the best work and rest patterns for long-haul services.
The airline said the data on crew wellbeing and alertness will be shared with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to inform future regulations for ultra-long haul flights.
Qantas will also gather general feedback from passengers on food choices, stretching and wellbeing zones and in-flight entertainment.
The airline’s Chief Executive Alan Joyce said previously: “Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew.
“These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.”
It will be the second aircraft to fly the route non-stop – the first touched down in August 1989.
Qantas did fly a Dreamliner non-stop from New York to Sydney last month as part of Project Sunrise, although the route is around 1,000 miles shorter.
It is due to make a final decision on the viability of Project Sunrise as a commercial flight route by the end of the year.
SAfrican Airways workers to go on strike Friday
Cabin crew and other workers at South African Airways (SAA) will go on strike on Friday over the struggling state airline’s plan to cut more than 900 jobs, unions said on Wednesday.
“We are left with no choice but to resort to this drastic action by withdrawing our labour and going on strike,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Anyiam, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association, told a joint press briefing with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), reports Reuters.
The strike would continue indefinitely, the unions said.
SAA said on Tuesday it could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses.
South African Airways may cut more than 900 jobs
South Africa’s struggling state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses, the airline said in a statement.
SAA said it had started consultations with its more than 5,000 staff and was talking to labour unions.
The airline has not made an annual profit since 2011 and is grappling with severe funding difficulties and an inefficient and ageing fleet of airplanes, reports Reuters.
South African officials have been searching for an investor to take a stake in the airline, but their efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
“We urgently need to address the ongoing loss-making position that has subsisted over the past years. That is why we are undergoing a restructuring,” said SAA acting-Chief Executive Zuks Ramasia.
“No final decision will be taken until the consultation process is concluded. However, it is estimated that approximately 944 employees may be affected.”
In a dramatic fall from grace over the past decade, SAA has lost its place as Africa’s biggest airline and a symbol of patriotic pride to become a source of frustration for taxpayers.
Analysts have long said its workforce should be cut to bring it in line with regional competitors.
Boeing: 737 MAX should resume commercial flights in Jan; shares jump
Boeing Co on Monday said it expected U.S. regulators to approve the return to commercial service of its grounded 737 MAX jet in the coming weeks, and its shares jumped as investors grew more hopeful the planemaker had addressed software problems at the heart of two fatal crashes.
Boeing said it expected the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue an order approving the plane’s return to service next month, but added it now expected commercial service to resume in January. Boeing shares rose 5% on the company’s outlook.
As recently as last week, Boeing said it expected flights could resume by the end of December. On Monday, the company said it was possible that resumption of MAX deliveries to airline customers could begin in December but said getting approval for training changes would take more time, reports Reuters.
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said Friday they were pushing back resumption of 737 MAX flights until early March. Major airlines have said they will need at least a month to complete training and install revised software before flights can resume.
“We expect the Max to be certified, airworthiness directive issued, ungrounded in mid-December. We expect pilot training requirements to be approved in January,” said Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
He added that “our airline customers will need more time to return their fleets to service and to train all 737 pilots, therefore they have announced schedule updates into March.”
The FAA reiterated that the agency has “set no timeframe for when the work will be completed.”
Last week, Reuters reported that U.S. and European regulators had not been able to complete a software documentation audit because of significant gaps and substandard documents. The FAA must complete that audit before a key certification test flight can be scheduled.
“We are taking the time to answer all of their questions,” Boeing said Monday. “We’re providing detailed documentation, had them fly in the simulators, and helped them understand our logic and the design for the new procedures, software and proposed training material to ensure that they are completely satisfied as to the airplane’s safety.”
Boeing also said it has completed one of five milestones needed: a multi-day eCab simulator evaluation with the FAA to ensure the software system performs as intended even if there is a system failure.
On Friday, the FAA told U.S. lawmakers a preliminary review by a blue-ribbon panel found Boeing’s design changes to a key safety system to be safe and compliant with regulations.
The next step will be a multi-day simulator session with airline pilots from the around the world.
The FAA said previously it will need 30 days from the time of the certification flight before it could unground the plane and flights could resume.
Bird strike resurgence poses challenge to airline operators
…spurs over N5bn loss annually
The resurgence of bird strikes in Nigerian aviation industry and its economic losses to airlines, which is put at approximately N5billion annually, has become a source of worry to operators.
Although bird strike is a global phenomenon, many factors such as the nation’s carelessness to the environment culminating in over grown bushes and other untidy behaviours around the aerodromes are escalating the activities of birds and animals around airport areas.
A bird strike is a collision between an airborne animal, usually a bird or bat and a manmade vehicle, usually an aircraft. The term is also used for bird deaths resulting from collisions with structures such as power lines, towers and wind turbines.
Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone.
However, the number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours.
The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however the collision is usually fatal to the bird(s) involved.
In monetary terms, it is estimated that about $1.2 billion per annum is lost to bird strike by the global aviation industry. In the United States of America about $650 million is lost annually as a result of bird strike.
Bird strike incidents usually affect the engines of aircraft, which cost about $1.5 million (N547.5 million) to replace, depending on the type and capacity of the aircraft involved in the incident. This is apart from the cost of shipping the engine into the country.
Nigerian airlines experience at least 12 bird strike incidents annually, our correspondent gathered. He reported that in the past 24 months, there has been no fewer than 28 bird strike incidents recorded across the country’s airports.
Statistics of the incidents obtained by New Telegraph indicates that the airlines encountered 14 bird strikes during take-offs and another 13 on landings, with half of the incidents happening at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Virtually all domestic airlines have experienced one form of damage to their engines or nose wheel. Ethiopian Airline landing gear was hit by a massive bird last week Thursday but caused just minimal damage.
In the past two months, at least two Nigerian carriers experienced major bird strike incidents that severely damaged the aircraft’s engines, costing the airlines and their insurers millions of dollars to replace the engines.
Air Peace is the hardest hit as many of its airplane engines had been damaged, Arik, Aero, Dana, Azman and others are becoming almost a monthly occurrence.
Spokeswoman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, told our correspondent that the agency was looking at making sure it eradicate or reduce this threat of bird ingestion to aircraft or animal incursion into the runway and so the need to disperse the discovered roost before it became worst.
Being a pilot and a frequent flyer along the MMA axis, she disclosed that the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, like other pilots, have been aware of the roost for some time as they see it when they take off or land due to the fact that the habitat is directly under approach flight path of aircraft that are inbound runway 18L Murtala Muhammad Airport.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, attributed high incidence of bird/wildlife strikes in to the attraction of many species of wildlife to the airports due to the presence of thick bushes, waste dumps and farmlands around the airports.
He called for adequate funding of the airports by the acquisition of modern safety equipment in the airports, stressing that this will also allow adequate maintenance of vehicles, proper habitat management, adequate fencing and regular training and retraining of bird/wildlife hazard control officers.
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