By Adekunle Williams

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Sen. Hadi Sirika has inaugurated the 1,024 First Phase of General Aviation Terminal ( GAT) expansion at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.

In his speech before inaugurating the facility, the minister explained that the project was conceived to address the decades-long limited capacity challenge of the terminal.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister said the expansion had increase the capacity of the terminal from 254 to 1,024.

Sirika explained that the expansion which was carried out by Messrs Glovesly Pro-Project Limited, was worth N2.2 billion.

He added that the expansion facility had a central conditioning unit, fire alarm and sprinklers, as well as Aviation mini clinic.

“The facility also comes with the complements of three Standard Departure Halls (two downstairs, and one upstairs), three VIP Lounges (one downstairs and two upstairs).

“Others are two Protocol Lounge (one downstairs and one upstairs), three Lifts (departure, VIP, and Protocol), four Toilets, five Office spaces, five Staircases, amongst others.

“This is as against the Departure Hall, one VIP Lounge, one Protocol Lounge, and 20 Toilets, which were the facilities available before the commencement of the project,” he said.

The minister said the geometric increase in population of Nigeria, which resulted in increase in passenger volume had overwhelmed available facilities at this terminal.

According to him, this is part of efforts to address this challenge, the Federal Government at some point developed the Zulu terminal to complement the existing old terminal, but the capacity limitation situation still persisted.

Sirika said at peak periods, the facilities in this terminal were usually overstretched because the volume of passengers using the facilities far outweighs the capacity available.

He said after evaluating the situation, he decided to expand the terminal, as a short term measure to address the situation, adding that it was their intention to build a new and much bigger domestic terminal in the nearest future.

The minister said the facility commissioning today was a product of that thought, and it was only the first phase of the project.

Sirika hope that the incoming administration would continue with the construction of the second phase.

“As you will be seeing in due course, this facility contains brand new protocol lounges, airline office spaces, VIP lounges, with the complements of conveniences that will enhance safety, security and comfort of our esteemed passengers.

“The project started early last year, and I am glad that the first phase was completed in record time, and is being commissioned today.

“I am very confident that the provision of this facility will enhance passenger facilitation at this terminal, and will also improve the revenue generation of FAAN,” he said.

NAN reports that the minister also proceeded to commission the Cargo Terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport.


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