MMA2 plans infrastructure expansion to accommodate growing travel demands

The Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) run by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) is a huge success story. The Chief Operating Officer of the terminal, Tosan Duncan Odukoya in this interview with  WOLE SHADARE speaks  on MMA2’s customer-centric  approach to air travel

Recently, you celebrated your 16th year of operation as the concessionaire of MMA2.  As a successful   PPP business model in the history of Nigeria, what will you attribute to this feat?

16 years is a long time to successfully keep a business running within a strictly restricted and highly regulated industry. The success story begins with good governance and the management we have in place has been instrumental in its setup, leadership style, and the maintenance of high standards of service. We have a customer-focused approach towards the needs of our travellers and airlines and this is vital in running a successful airport terminal. Smooth safe and secure travel is the bedrock of our existence, and we are keen to ensure compliance by being a partner with Airports Council International (ACI) making us accredited in the field of integrated management systems with regard to our safety, aviation security, aeronautics compliance, IT infrastructure, and operational abilities. We also have kept our stakeholder engagement in high visibility by maintaining relationships with our grantors, our regulatory authorities, our airlines, armed forces, and esteemed retail banking and telco internal customers.  We have also been successful because of our financial viability since running an airport requires significant financial investment. This is only possible by efficiently managing our revenue streams, controlling costs, and making prudent financial and human capital decisions.  We are innovative and able to adapt to the continuously changing market trends and technological advancements.  We have secured the services of the most successful airport technology solutions provider called RESA as well as ensuring our ERP is sound and up to date.

MMA2

In the next sixteen years, what are the new milestones the airport users should be expecting from MMA2 as a terminal?

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Over the next sixteen years, MMA2 has ambitious plans to further elevate the airport experience for its users, focusing on-time performance, premium concierge services, infrastructure expansion, and technological improvement with a robust E.R.P (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. Some of the new milestones that airport users can expect are on-time performance excellence. MMA2 aims to become a benchmark for on-time performance in the aviation industry. As part of its customer-centric approach, MMA2 will introduce premium concierge services for check-in and departure. Passengers will have access to personalized assistance, dedicated check-in counters, and exclusive lounges that cater to their comfort and convenience.  On infrastructure Expansion, MMA2 plans to further expand its infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of passengers and airlines. This expansion may include additional terminal capacity, more boarding gates, improved baggage handling systems, and enhanced waiting areas.

Other areas we are looking at include technological advancements, embracing the latest technological innovations is a priority for MMA2. The airport will invest in cutting-edge systems and equipment to streamline operations, enhance security measures, and improve passenger flow.

The airport will actively seek and incorporate customer feedback into its decision-making processes. Through regular surveys and feedback mechanisms, MMA2 will identify areas for improvement and tailor its services to meet the evolving needs and preferences of travellers.

By pursuing these milestones, MMA2 aims to solidify its position as a leading airport terminal in Nigeria and the broader African region, providing a superior travel experience for all its users.

You just mentioned a premium service offering you’re about to launch for High Net Worth Individuals (HNI). Can you throw more light on this?

MMA2 Premium is one of the products we intend to activate in our resolve to elevate passengers and our partners (airlines) experience by providing a top-tier service to High Net worth Individuals (HNI) who mostly fly business class. The premium departure area of the terminal is equipped with a state-of-the-art facility that aims to set new standards of luxury, comfort, and efficiency. With this service, business class passengers of airlines operating out of MMA2 will enjoy a private entrance, personalized check-in, concierge service, pre-boarding service, and a gastronomic experience in an exquisitely designed sitting area. This is long overdue, and we intend to ensure we keep the standard very high.

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Your multi-level car park was one of many first you recorded in the history of Nigeria’s aviation industry, and this has brought sanity into the airport. What inspires this foresight?

We are grateful for you to acknowledge the significance of our multi-level car park in Nigeria’s aviation industry. The foresight to develop such a facility was inspired by our commitment to providing world-class amenities and services to our passengers and visitors.  As a privately funded and privately-run terminal, we understood the importance of enhancing the overall airport experience for travelers. One of the major challenges faced by many airports was the issue of parking congestion and limited space for vehicles. Recognizing this, we decided to invest in a state-of-the-art multilevel car park to address these concerns and bring sanity to the airport environment.  Our foresight was driven by several factors:  Having a Customer-Centric Approach allowing our visitors and their needs to come first made us careful to focus on modernization and Innovation. We also invested in Capacity Planning by anticipating the growth in passenger numbers and the increasing demand for parking; we, therefore, chose to invest in a facility that could accommodate a large number of vehicles efficiently, helping to optimize the use of available space. Safety and Security were our overarching view as we could provide enhanced security features, ensuring vehicles and their owners were assured while parked at the airport. Our final approach was towards our highly protected reputation.  We felt that developing a facility like this allowed us to strengthen our reputation as a customer-centric and forward-thinking airport. It served as a positive reflection of our commitment to excellence.

In summary, the inspiration behind this foresight was to make the airport experience more enjoyable, convenient, and efficient for all our customers. We take great pride in the positive impact the multilevel car park has brought to the aviation industry in Nigeria, and we remain dedicated to continuously improving our services to meet the needs of our valued passengers.

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Not too long ago, a user of your airport, Mr. Theophilus Akatugba came to the media claiming extortion by MMA2 at the drop-off zone.  What exactly happened?

Despite being informed by both the staff of the Tow company-DONE RIGHT and AVSEC personnel, as well as the guest he came to receive, that pick-up was not allowed at the driveway, the man insisted on his driver coming down to the drop-off zone to pick up his guest. As a result, his car was clamped.  He made the payment for the violation which is the rule.

MMA2 terminal in Lagos

He was told that if the vehicle is towed, the cost will be N50, 000 but if he pays or hands over the keys to them he’ll pay N32,800. About his failed POS transaction, it is a CBN requirement, not MMA2. We all know that the card holders’ bank is responsible for refunds.  The no-pick rule has been on at our terminal since mid-2021. There is multiple signage on the driveway, from the main gate to the exit, on the link bridge, and on the electronic billboard towards the exit gate. He was actually informed and his attention was drawn to the signage before his guest passenger entered the car. The passenger’s luggage was pushed out by a staff who informed him before they got out to drop off him that he couldn’t be picked up at the driveway. What this person doesn’t understand is that the whole terminal is covered by CCTV.

Wole Shadare