Discontent over poor facilities at airports

*Gulf carriers pay FAAN N320 monthly as charges
*Reject payment in dollars
Despite the Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and the government intervention funds in the sector, there is a discontent that there have been no appreciable returns in quantity of infrastructure in the aviation sector.
Consequently, foreign airline operating to the country have petitioned the Ministry of Transportation over appalling facilities at virtually all the airports across the country.
The carriers which spoke on condition of anonymity because of their safety, called on the Federal Government to look deep into airport terminals around the country in order to give better services to airline operators, passengers and others carrying out both aeronautic and non-aeronautic businesses at the terminal
According to sources privy to some information about the terminal, one of the Gulf carriers operating into Lagos said his airline pays FAAN N80 million every week for Passenger Service Charge (PSC), while an European carrier pay FAAN N160 million weekly.
Cumulatively, the Gulf carrier pays N320 million monthly and the European carrier, N640 million. The payment includes but not limited to Passenger Service Charge (PSC), Jetty (Aerobridge), Landing and Parking.
 Foreign airlines complained that while they sell tickets in Naira, FAAN mandates them to pay for their charges in dollars describing it as very unhealthy for the sector.
Penultimate month, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) directed airlines operating in the country, particularly foreign carriers, to immediately stop the sale of air tickets in the United States dollars and other foreign currencies.
According to the regulatory agency, the affected airlines have been given notes of warning and their action declared a flagrant contravention of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s prerequisites guiding the cost of products and services in the country.
It was gathered that some foreign carriers started demanding for payment for flight tickets only in dollars since April this year in a bid to repatriate funds to their home countries due to scarcity of foreign exchange in Nigeria.
Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, stated that it was disturbed by reports that some foreign airlines were declining to accept naira as payment for tickets.
“In other words, some foreign airlines have blatantly resorted to selling tickets only in foreign currencies. This act is considered insensitive to passengers who have chosen the airlines for their travels,” it stated.
One of the staff of foreign carriers said the complaint has been on but FAAN has not responded. “The excuse given is that the Ministry of Aviation has not given directive to that effect”.  Baggage damages by Conveyor belt is another issue. “Most times, when passengers’ luggages get damaged, the airline is bearing the brunch and pay compensation to passengers instead of the airport authority who operate the Conveyor belt that. Out of the 21 aviobridges, only four is working.”
Spokesman for FAAN could not be reached as he was said to be in a meeting with Minister of State on Transportation, Hadi Sirika.
A popular aviation consultant, who pleaded anonymity  listed some of the sources of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)  as five per cent on ticket sales and outbound passengers/airport service charge on over 15 million passengers at $50 from each outbound international passenger and N1000 on each domestic passenger; the landing and parking charges on about 250,000 air traffic per day; sales charges and about 300,000 tons of cargo freight; air navigational and air traffic control charges on 400,000 air traffic and overflying movement.
Others are royalties on the imbalance of over 50 Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) and on commercial right agreements; charges on over one trillion litres of fuel sales and the revenue on car parks and toll gate concession, rent, offices and land charges, among others, at over 24 airports.
Others include aircraft landing and parking with average charges of between $400 on smaller aircraft and $3,000 on bigger ones from over 250 air traffic yearly.
Also included are cargo service charges of about N7 per kg on cargo; N2,000 on courier parcels from about 200 million kilogrammes cargo and mails; charges on fuel sales, charges of 40 kobo per litre on about four million litres daily sales amounting to 1.5 trillion litres sales yearly.
Other sources of revenue, according to the aviation consultant, land/office rents and charges from concessionaires and major tenants, including airlines and other private operators.
He said that given the 2011 statistic data and these sources of revenue, the recent media report that FAAN now wants to boost its revenue by 17 per cent through automation and increasing it up to N70 billion cannot be correct. Consequently, he said: “The automation regime as being conceived by FAAN will not make any significant improvement in the IGR if it would remain below N100 billion.
Wole Shadare