The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has again threatened to withdraw both aviation security and firefighting personnel from some airports over debt in excess of N2.6 billion beginning from May 1.
The fresh warning is coming after an earlier notice was issued last December to private and state-owned aerodromes, though was later suspended due to public outcry.
The services in question, according to experts, are safety critical without which no airport can process flights.
Among the facilities earlier targeted by FAAN are the Murtala Muhammed Airport II (MMA2) terminal in Lagos, Gombe Airport, Gombe, Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta State and Kebbi airport, Kebbi State, all estimated to allegedly owe the sum of N2.608 billion.
The Guardian learnt that Gombe Airport is indebted to the tune of N607.3 million, while Kebbi owes N124.6 million as at September 10, 2018.
FAAN, in a public notice issued yesterday said following the notice of intention to sanction, issued to the owners/operators of private airports indebted to the Authority, which lapses on Wednesday April 24, FAAN hereby serves another seven days notice of grace till Tuesday April 30, for them to settle all outstanding debts.
“The Authority shall be constrained to commence the implementation of sanctions at the expiration of this notice, if the organisations fail or refuse to pay up as advised. In view of this, the Authority hereby notifies private airport operators that the services of our Aviation Security and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel will no longer be available for the operations of their airports with effect from Wednesday May 1, 2019 as the Authority can no longer keep these personnel at the airports working without payment,” the state read in part.