New General Aviation Terminal at Lagos commissioned
The Federal Government commissioned the new General Aviation Terminal (GAT) at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on 22 October 2012. The terminal has been built at the cost of N648 million. Air travellers and airlines are supposed to use the terminal from 4 November onwards. GAT can handle twelve flights at once (or 1500 passengers per hour), and 2,8 million domestic passengers are expected to travel through the terminal yearly.
Allegedly, the construction of the new terminal violates the agreement made between the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney, the owners of the domestic MMA2 Terminal:
In the agreement signed between Bi-Courtney and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in 2004, it was agreed that the firm should build a new domestic terminal and that no other domestic terminal should be built at the airport and that all scheduled domestic operations should emanate from the new facility, which started operation in May 2007. By rebuilding and unveiling the GAT for service, government has dishonoured that agreement just as it had earlier defied the condition that all domestic operations must emanate from the MMA2 as other airlines have been using the GAT to run their scheduled domestic services.
Information at our disposal indicates that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd, the Concessionaire to MM2, apparently threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and remodelled GAT, Lagos is mounting a media campaign in an attempt to blur or diminish the unprecedented achievement of Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah in giving Nigerian airports a major face-lift and dignified ambience. To be sure, the area where GAT is located has never been part of the area concessioned to Bi-Courtney Ltd. The agreement with Bi-courtney has a Survey Plan clearly marked in Square metres and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to Bi-Courtney. (…) It is inconceivable that anyone would not only contemplate, but also hold fast to the jaundiced belief that a nation as big and great as Nigeria ought not to progress beyond having a terminal like MM2.
The Minister of Aviation argues that the cancellation of previous contracts are done in the interest of the public. The parties involved will continue to challenge each other in court.