FAAN Introduces Bill of Rights for Aviation Passengers

ABUJA – The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said a passenger’s Bill of Rights has been introduced to protect the rights of air travelers in the country.

The Managing Director of FAAN, George Uriesi, made the disclosure when he featured at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja where he urged passengers to know their rights.

“The NCAA has recently introduced the passenger Bill of Rights and I encourage everybody; you can access it anywhere, you access on the NCAA’s website; you access it at the airport; go to the NCAA’s desk and take a copy of the Bill of Rights,” he said.

“It stipulates all the rights the passenger has with respect to the contract he has with the airline.

The Managing Director of FAAN, George Uriesi,“If the airline says it will fly you at 7 a.m., it has a number of hours against which it can delay you before you are entitled to a meal first and a number of hours in which it can delay before you are taken to a hotel; then a number of hours within which it is expected to pay you a penalty plus refund of your money if you don’t want to fly anymore.

“And these are things that never existed before.”

Mr. Uriesi said penalties in the Bill of Rights would make airlines sit up and assess their schedules, and will allow passengers to know they could demand for compensation when their rights were violated.

He said that airports were status symbols which said much about a country and expressed regret that Nigerian airports were abandoned for a long time while things got messy.

According to him countries like South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, among others had repositioned their airports, but Nigeria delayed the re positioning of it airports.

“We have been sleeping for a long time and our airports got dilapidated but we are dealing with it, though late, because using the airports should be a dignifying experience,” he said.

Uriesi said that FAAN was remodeling all federal airports to raise their status to a level where all would be proud of.

“The airline business is a time-based business; that is why they have schedules; if it was not, it will be a motor park thing where the airplane will wait until it is full,” he said.

“So, you who want to go to Abuja by 7 O’clock, if the airplane is not full, by 10 a.m., you still have to be on the ground waiting; so, if a deal is made and I promise you I will take you to Abuja by 7 a.m.; at 7 a.m., you must depart whether there are only five passengers or more; whether you are the only one on board, you must depart.

“In the real sense of the word, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is the regulator of the airline in this respect, FAAN is just a service provider like the airline but it is a government-owned service provider.”

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