The management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, Lagos, has denied owing the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) about N1, 943,323,516.50.
BASL, in a statement restated its commitment to ensure seamless flight operations and services at the terminal, following a statement by the FAAN, through Notice To Airmen (NOTAM), that with effect from Monday aviation security personnel would be withdrawn from the terminal.
FAAN had threatened to withdraw its personnel from MMA2 due to alleged indebtedness to the tune of N1, 943,323,516.50.
In a letter dated October 30, 2018, FAAN demanded Bi-Courtney to pay for the provision of the aviation security, rescue and fire-fighting services, among other charges or it would withdraw its personnel from MMA2.
But, in a letter addressed to FAAN, BASL demanded for payments of outstanding liabilities arising from court judgments over non-implementation of the concession agreement by Federal authorities.
The letter reads: “We have consistently brought it to your notice that we have a judgment credit of N132, 540,580,304.00 since March 03, 2009.
This credit arose directly from the non-implementation of the concession agreement by the appropriate authorities.
The courts have consistently ordered that any liability we have to FAAN or any Federal Government agency should be deducted from this amount.
“Despite the receipt of BASL’s response, FAAN have flagrantly disregarded several court orders, including the most recent with reference suit number – FHC/ABJ/CS/1422/18/ issued on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, pertaining to this matter, duly served to FAAN, ordering that “the status quo be maintained and that nothing that may disrupt and / or hinder the operation of the airport should be done pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”
In the statement, BASL stated that ample safety and security measures have been put in place to ensure that the withdrawal of FAAN personnel did not in any way disrupt smooth flight operations and other business activities at the terminal.
It reiterated that there were adequately trained and NCAA-certified personnel to man the various parts and sensitive points at the terminal.
BASL management said since inception, it has trained its own aviation security personnel to work along with FAAN security at the terminal.
The statement said: “Since 2016, BASL have been performing the same service that FAAN performs in their absence. Staff are trained in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Security Training Programme (NCASTP) in respect of X-ray Image Interpretation and physical security screening.
“It should be noted that the withdrawal of FAAN personnel in no way jeopardises security levels – in fact, it is known that the NCAA have conducted numerous audits on FAAN personnel at the terminal revealing that many of the staff are absent and that the required number are not on duty or do not have the requisite training.
“BASL assures all air operators and the travelling public that the regulatory requirements for security and safety will be strictly adhered to and complied with in full.
“BASL is prepared and continues to consistently ensure safety, security and smooth operations at MMA2, without entertaining compromise on aviation best practices.