As the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN is presently denying petroleum marketers access to airports due to incremental tariffs, air travelers across the nation will be forced to seek alternative modes of transport.
According to information obtained by Vanguard, the access restriction went into effect yesterday at the Abuja airport, and plans are afoot to extend it to other airports managed by FAAN.
FAAN operates 26 of Nigeria’s 32 airports, out of which five are international airports.
The ramp or parking platform at Abuja airport is currently congested, as the majority of airlines have more than two aircraft on the tarmac.
The airport authority is presently restricting access to all petroleum marketers due to a 100 percent increase in apron pass fees that the marketers are required to pay immediately, according to the findings.
Currently, no petroleum marketer is permitted on the apron.
According to a source within the industry, the marketers were not previously informed of any tariff review.
However, when Vanguard contacted FAAN’s Acting General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, she stated that the marketers were aware of the tariff review and that they would not be permitted to operate with expired apron permits.
She noted that the tariff was never increased by 100%, as alleged by the marketers, and that it was only increased by 25% due to the present state of the nation’s economy.
The energy marketers’ apron pass has expired, in her terms. This pass is issued annually, and they should have renewed it for the coming year before now.
“The aviation industry is heavily regulated, and safety and security continue to be our top priorities. Due to the fact that their apron permit has expired, they have been given a deadline to renew or obtain a new one.
“The airport must operate, and the fuel that powers the airport is revenue, bearing in mind the capital-intensive nature of the industry. If there is an increase, everyone in the chain must be notified.
“We evaluated the fees and informed the appropriate parties. The industry is ours, and we carry everyone through any procedure with us. They are required to renew their permit prior to its expiration.
“The fee was increased from N150,000 to N200,000, which is not 100% as alleged.”
Olumide Ohunayo, an aviation analyst, told Vanguard that the development would have a significant impact on airline operations today (yesterday).
He stated, “This will result in enormous losses for airlines unable to operate their scheduled flights, and the situation is spreading to other routes.” Additionally, other chattered operations have been affected by this development.
“According to all indications, the situation will persist throughout the day and potentially through the weekend if nothing is done to resolve it.
“In addition, we gather that the apron pass fee was not only increased for oil marketers, but also for ground handlers and other organizations that operate in airports. They initially targeted petroleum distributors. In the days that will follow, others will follow.”