For three days running, flight operations at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos have been crippled due to the incessant power failure at the terminal.
Virtually all the airlines operating at the terminal on Tuesday experienced flight disruptions while passengers were made to wait endlessly to check in for departure.
The airlines on Tuesday and early today, did profiling of some of their passengers manually, a situation, which caused slow check-in process at the terminal.
The airlines affected by the disruption to services include Arik Air, Overland, Air Peace, part operations of Med-View and Aero Contractors Airlines.
The cause of the power failure could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but a source close to the Engineering Department of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) told SaharaReporters that it may be linked to cable cut to the terminal.
The source told our correspondent that the department had been informed of the bad situation, but its personnel are yet to find out where the cut took place.
GAT was one of the airports remodeled by the former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, but there were complaints that the equipment used for the remodeling exercise of the terminal and other terminals across the country were household equipment, rather than factory fitted equipment that could withstand an airport environment.
Since the terminal including the international wing of the airport was remodeled, power failure had consistently crippled airline operations at the terminal.
Also, one of the airlines affected by the disruption to service, Air Peace attributed the delay and cancellation of some its flights on Monday and Tuesday to a power surge at the terminal.
The spokesman for the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah said that the incident led to cut off of electricity supply to its offices at the terminal.
Iwarah said the surge cut power supply to the airline’s server room and other facilities critical to its flight operations.
He later stated that the airline had to resort to alternative arrangements to save its operations from entirely grinding to a halt pending the intervention of FAAN. According to him, despite the measures taken by the airline to salvage the situation, the incident occasioned a lot of delays and outright cancellation of some of its flights.
He added: “Despite our best efforts to ensure smooth flight operations in the run-up to the yuletide, a power surge occurred at our base at the General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on Monday. The unfortunate incident, which stretched into Tuesday, cut power supply to our server room and other critical facilities for our operations.
“While FAAN was trying to fix the situation and restore power to the facility, we resorted to emergency measures to mitigate the impact of the incident on our flight schedules. Notwithstanding our efforts, the incident seriously affected our check-in and boarding operations and occasioned a lot of delays and outright cancellation of some of our flights.
“We deeply regret the incident and solicit the understanding of our valued guests. While FAAN works to guarantee uninterrupted power supply to the airport, we will continue to work round the clock to normalize our operations and sustain our on-time reputation.”
It would be recalled that recently, power outage crippled flight activities at the international wing of the Lagos Airport.
When contacted, General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, described the power outage as a minor spark at the terminal.
She said that the agency’s team of engineers swung into action to restore power supply to the terminal, but an investigation by our correspondent indicated that the power disruption still continued at the terminal.