In preparation for the inauguration of the new government on May 29, 2023, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has issued an order for the relocation of all aircraft stationed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. The directive aims to prioritize the safety of the airport during the forthcoming presidential inauguration.
Notably, the GAT terminal in Abuja houses numerous private jets owned by affluent individuals, companies, and airlines. To ensure a secure environment for the high-profile event, FAAN has deemed it necessary to temporarily transfer the parked aircraft to alternate airports.
In a circular dated May 8, 2023, addressed to aircraft operators and signed by FAAN’s Regional Manager, Kabir Mohammed, the relocation directive was conveyed. The circular, bearing the reference number FAAN/ABJ/NAIA/RGM/NC/AM/1000/VOl-1, states, “This is to inform you of the need to temporarily relocate your aircraft to alternate airports due to the upcoming Presidential Inauguration slated for May 29, 2023. The Presidential Inauguration is a high-security event, and in order to ensure the safety and security of all parties involved, it has become necessary to temporarily relocate all aircraft parked at the GAT to alternate airports. To this end, you are kindly requested to relocate your aircraft on or before May 22, 2023.”
However, concerns have been raised regarding the operational status of many aircraft parked at the GAT terminal in Abuja. Capt Roland Iyayi, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the Chief Executive Officer of Top Brass Aviation, expressed his apprehension, pointing out that a significant number of the parked aircraft are currently non-serviceable. Therefore, relocating them may pose practical difficulties.
“Most of the aircraft parked there cannot fly, so if FAAN is asking for the aircraft to be moved, then it would suggest that there’s something they know that we don’t know. I don’t think it’s possible; most of the aircraft parked there are not entirely serviceable. If they are not serviceable, how do you move them?” questioned Capt Roland Iyayi.
As FAAN proceeds with the aircraft relocation process, the challenges surrounding non-serviceable aircraft will need to be addressed to ensure a smooth execution of the directive. The focus remains on maintaining a safe and secure environment for the upcoming presidential inauguration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
- Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) directs the immediate relocation of aircraft stationed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
- The move aims to enhance airport safety during the upcoming presidential inauguration scheduled for May 29, 2023.
- Concerns arise regarding the serviceability of many aircraft parked at the GAT terminal, potentially posing challenges to the relocation process.