You are in Home » Airline Authority Castigates On the Closure of Local Airport Runway


The Nigeria airport authority wants to close down a runway in one of the domestic airports in the country.

This brings about the airline authority castigating and condemning the decision of the airport authority to close the runway in one of the domestic airports in the country.

The Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) is the airline authority condemning and castigating the decision of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to close Runway 18L of the Lagos domestic airport for three months.

The airlines’ body while castigating the decision said the closure will add to additional costs in operation, delays, and disruptions in flight.

It insists that there are other alternatives rather than outrightly closing the facility.

On 15th July 2022, the AON addressed the Managing Director of FAAN in a letter titled: ‘Closure of Runway 18L at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA).

The AON, however, said it received a surprised Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on 5th July 2022.

The surprised notice informed the AON that the FAAN would be closing…

…the domestic runway of the MMA from 8th July 2022.

The closure will go for a period of 90 days (3 months).

It added that the FAAN closing the runway has caused additional operating costs…

…and the inconveniences 0f the airlines and passengers.

Airline: AON Talks

In light of this, we raise the following critical issues for your urgent attention: The AON welcomes the effort by FAAN to install runway lighting on Runway 18L, at last.

However, international best practice for such critical airfield infrastructure projects is for the airport operator to enter into discussions with all affected parties, to arrive at an optimal arrangement that allows the work to be done, while limiting the inconvenience, economic impact and safety implications on all concerned.

In this instance, FAAN failed to do this.

It also noted that the closure of the main domestic runway of MMA is adding an additional 10-15% extra fuel costs per sector into and out of MMA…

…based on the additional flight and taxi time incurred as a result.

The closure of Runway 18L has led to a chain of direct flight delays on a daily basis, impacting the entire system of scheduled domestic flights in the country.

FAAN is aware that most domestic flights originate from or pass through MMA at some point every day. This is an unnecessary additional negative outcome for the industry.

AON contends that in line with international best practice, runways of airports are only closed when there is no other option. For infrastructure projects such as this one on 18L, to limit the impact on flight operations, FAAN ought to have ensured that the contractor does the work at night, when the runway is not in use.

If there is an absolute need for work to be done during daylight hours, then agreement should have been reached with the runway users on what time window would allow this.

Surely this situation is not in the best interests of the industry.

Moreover, the additional taxi time due to closure of runway 18L impacts negatively on airlines schedule to sunset airports around the country leading to delays and cancellation of flights to these airports.

Given the above critical concerns, AON implores the management of FAAN to urgently review this closure of Runway 18L and enter into discussion with the users of the runway on a procedure for the project, that limits both the cost impact on airlines as well as disruption to normal flight operations,”the operated stated.

The AON is therefore calling on the FAAN to arrange an urgent consultation meeting with the stakeholders.

According to the AON, the meeting will discuss its decision and assured the agency of the operators’ commitment…

…to partnering with FAAN to install the long overdue runway lighting on Runway 18L…

…in line with accepted international best practices.

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