From Chukwudi Ejimofor, Port Harcourt
Experts have begun the process of making the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa gain the recognition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Airports Council International (ACI) as a safe and efficient airport.
The task is being undertaken by officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other regulatory bodies who have converged in the airport.
Their assignment is being carried out under the Airports Excellence (APEX) In Safety Programme.
The Director of Airport Operations, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadudu, told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the APEX in Safety Programme was to guide the stakeholders towards achieving certification for the airport.
Yadudu said that the team was at the airport to officially begin the programme, in addition to a similar exercise which was done a year ago to enable them certify Lagos and Abuja Airports.
He said that after the certification of the Port Harcourt Airport, they would proceed to Kano and Enugu Airports.
The FAAN chief explained that the exercise entails a holistic review of all airport operations as well as how the workers relate with the structures and processes. He said that after the exercise, “they will give us a document that shows us what we need to do and how quickly we need to do it to certify this airport and tell the whole world beyond any reasonable doubt that this is a safe, secure and efficient airport.”
The Manager, APEX in Safety, Mr. Ermenando Silva, expressed delight to be in Port Harcourt after visiting Lagos and Abuja airports and hoped that at the end of the exercise the airport would have positive recommendations from the experts for its certification.