FAAN commences destruction of 65 abandoned planes
The action followed the expiration of the one-week ultimatum given by the agency to owners of the abandoned aircraft to evacuate them from the airports.
The destruction exercise started at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at about 4pm, as FAAN’s contractors handling the exercise moved to site.
The evacuation and destruction exercise is expected to move to the Abuja airport after the completion of the Lagos section.
The Logistics Officer, AAYU Mills, one of the contractors handling the destruction of the airplanes on behalf of FAAN, Mr. Bashir Haruna, told journalists at the site that a total of 13 aircraft abandoned at the Lagos airport would be dismantled within the next 10 days.
After the dismantling, he said the components would be transported to a steel company for recycling into other industrial products.
According to Haruna, the aircraft parts will be recycled in Lagos before being transported to the company’s office in Kebbi State.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the company was expected to finish its work in less than two weeks.
He said that after the completion of the exercise in Lagos, another contractor would evacuate the abandoned planes in Abuja.
Dati emphasised that the exercise was part of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government for the aviation industry, adding that the government would continue to provide comfortable environment for airport users.
He added that the contractors handling the project took it up without any financial commitment from FAAN.
Dati said, “Airports are not dumping grounds for any operator. We are more concerned about the safety and security implications of these aircraft at the airports. Even, there is an environmental implication for this. For instance, reptiles may hide inside of any of the aircraft.
“We are determined to create a world-class airport environment for our users. Leaving them here now does not make any economical benefit to the owners. It is better we remove them from the airport and make the environment friendly to investors.”
The Secretary of the committee saddled with the task of evacuating the abandoned planes, Mr. Olatayo Oginni, said most of the aircraft were not serviceable and, as such, did not have engines.
Oginni said there was no going back on the evacuation of the aircraft as the ultimatum given to their owners to voluntarily remove them had expired.