The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says the newly completed terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, will process about 15 million passengers annually when it begins operations.
Its Managing Director, Mr Saleh Dunoma, who stated this on Sunday in Abuja, noted that the terminal building would be inaugurated on Thursday to enhance the operational capacity of the airport.
The FAAN boss disclosed that the current carrying capacity of the airport stood at 7.5 million passengers per annum, but that once the new terminal comes on stream, it would process about 15million passengers.
According to him, the inauguration of the new terminal would bring about an expansion of the passenger capacity of the airport.
Dunoma said that passengers would begin to enjoy comfort and efficient services, as the new terminal was built and equipped with modern facilities such as modern check-in, baggage handling and security facilities that would ease passenger facilitation.
“Currently, the passenger traffic at Abuja airport is about 7.5 million annually in the old terminal which covers both domestic and international passengers,” said Dunoma.
“The airport now has a terminal that can process 15 million passengers which is a great departure from what it had before.
“The new terminal is essentially designed for passengers, it is not the kind of terminal where you have several offices and aviances, it is just designed for passenger purposes and duty offices only.
“So, most of the offices are going to remain in the old facility and then we will provide posts for the agencies that will participate in the processing of passengers.
“All the passenger-handling facilities like the modern security equipment that are important for security are available in the new terminal.
“We have modern check-in facility, we have modern baggage handling facility, and we have modern security surveillance gadget in the terminal.
“It is a lot of departure from what we had in the existing facility and the arrangement is for the passenger-flow to be more efficient than what we had in the old terminal building,’’ he added.
Dunoma said that there were plans to make sure that the old and new terminals work together to ensure seamless connectivity.
According to him, FAAN will change its modalities of operations by providing free trolleys and WiFi services for all passengers in the new terminal.
Dunoma expressed the optimism that that the new terminal would attract great patronage from more international airlines .
He said some international airlines had already sent in their applications for additional flight frequencies into the Abuja airport but that FAAN had decided to delay granting such approvals in order not to create congestions pending when the new facility would become operational.
Abuja Airport is one of the four new terminals being constructed at the cost of $600 million by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) under the Export-Import Bank of China loan.
The others are in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano and are being financed from the $500 million loan from China-Exim bank and $100 million counterpart funding from the Federal Government.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October inaugurated the one in Port Harcourt while the remaining two are expected to be opened for operations in 2019.