ATSSSAN boss decries the absent of AFL at Runway 18left
By Oyise OGHENE
NIGERIA: National President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu has decried the continual absent of the Air Field Lighting system (AFL) at runway 18left for the past five years.
Investigation conducted by Biztellers revealed that Runway 18left was resurfaced and commissioned without the installation of the Air Field Lighting (AFL) system when Mr. Babatunde Omotoba was the former Minister of Aviation in 2008.
Disclosing this development to newsmen in his office at the Murtalar Muhammed Airport Lagos, Comrade Okewu pointed out that it would have been better if the government solve the problem of the air field lighting at the airport first before even thinking about remodeling the airports.
“I agree totally with you, it is one of the issues we raised during the subsequent meetings with the various ministers right from Omotoba, Njeze and so on, we have always said do this thing (AFL) system first for the airlines”
“We talk about the Air Field Lighting particularly in Lagos, you talk about the cost of JET A1 but incidentally I don’t know why that air field lighting can not be awarded to another contractor up till now, I had expected that it is something that could have been done within three to six months if they are really serious about it” he stressed.
Comrade Okewu however stressed that without the AFL system, aircraft could only take-off and land at the domestic wing up till 6:00pm after which they had to land at the International wing which has been causing them additional cost for the fuel they burn, taxing from the international wing of the airport to the domestic wing at night.
According to him”I don’t know the huddles and they have not come out to tell us the huddles they are facing why that has not been done. Outside that, the airlines themselves, they seems to be comfortable with that, if they are not comfortable, I want to believe that by now they would have revolted strongly aside from making petition, there is a way that they can do that, look at Arik Air, we did debts recovery the next thing was that the thing was politicised and the next thing was holding the country to ransom, they can also use that to negotiate with government to get them to do that for them”