By Sumaila Ogbaje
A Team of Aviation Security Experts from Airport Council International (ACI), on Monday, embarked on a week long security audit of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to examine its safety standard.
NAN reports that the ACI, is an non-profit organisation representing the world’s airports.
The Team, led by an Aviation Consultant, Mr Brahim Lakhlifi, has representatives from African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and some member countries such as South Africa, Mauritius and Jamaica.
The Leader of the team, Lakhlifi, said the exercise was aimed at improving security standards in the airport through best practices as laid down by ACI and to also identity areas of needs.
He said the team had last week, carried out similar exercise at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos before coming to Abuja.
Accordi9ng to him the team will work to identify if there is any risk and to know what will be the best mitigation measure against such risk.
“I am here with our team which has members from Atlanta International Airport, Jamaica, Mauritius, South Africa, as well as representatives from AFCAC to work together with our colleagues from FAAN in Abuja.
“This is to see whether there are areas of improvement and to share experiences.
“This exercise is aimed to improve the existing system in the airport.
“It is also to assist our members on how we can improve through the best practices that we developed at the ACI, as well as through the best practice implemented by our members,’’ he said.
The Regional General Manager, North Central, FAAN Abuja Airport Manager, Mahmud Sani, said the exercise was a follow up to the certification of the airport by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in 2017.
Sani said the certification of NAIA meant that the airport had conformed with the acceptable standards of airport operations, adding that security audit was a regular exercise.
He however assured that Abuja airport was one of the safest airports in the country in terms of security and safety infrastructure
“The (Abuja) airport was certified in November 2017 by the NCAA, which means that we have conformed with the acceptable standard of airport operations.
“It is on this basis that we’ve continued to follow up and to ensure that we remain afloat and that explains the visit by the ACI on airport security.
“The ACI team is going to X-ray every part of security in the airport. They were invited by FAAN.
“They have already done that of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos last week and are now in Abuja airport and for now it is strictly security inspection of the airports.
“At the end of the day we want to reassure our esteemed passengers and airport users that Abuja airport is safe,’’ he said.
Sani disclosed that the airport had recently been visited by inspectors from the UK, which according t0 him is not a regular activity for them and they gave FAAN a pat on the back.
According to him, Abuja airport is secured and we don’t have any issue with our perimeter fence and all the security agencies conform with the norms.