The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), says it has commenced delivery of automation equipment or the five international airports in the country from the RESA Airport Data System based in France.
Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, FAAN, in an interview with aviation journalists at a conference organised by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), said that the installation of the equipment would further boost passenger processing at the five international airports; Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Enugu.
FAAN had earlier in the year severed relationship with Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA), which handled its Common Use of Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja for about a decade.
Yadudu assured that all the challenges faced by the travelling public and airlines at the international airports would be resolved by the middle of August.
FAAN had replaced the CUTE system of SITA with Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) provided by RESA.
The cordial relationship with FAAN and SITA had gone sour due to allegations from both parties.
FAAN had specifically accused SITA of not fulfilling its contractual agreement, stressing that the agreement it had with the company was to provide CUTE for all the international airports in the country, which it failed to do, while SITA accused the agency of indebtedness.
But, Yadudu in an interview with journalists said FAAN had since moved on and it’s looking into providing passengers, airlines and other airport users more comfortable environment.
He said: “I believe FAAN has already moved forward. What brought about the whole issue is that we decided to improve the whole process. The 10-year SITA contract for Lagos and Abuja airports expired last year and FAAN decided to improve the process. Even, while the SITA contract ran, some services were not rendered by SITA. Nonetheless, we ran an open procurement process for the service to be renewed.
This type of service is run by only two or three companies in the world. We advertised, two companies responded, and SITA didn’t respond creditably. They gave foreign documents.
“Naturally, the one that responded with our own documents won. It is a long history, but it is all behind us. The new contract and the project have already been approved by Mr. President. We have improved the process from two airports to now cover all the five international airports. At the end of the day, it is going to be better for all of us.
“We have already started taking delivery of equipment from RESA of France. FAAN went with the right procurement process and we got a better deal. I believe by the middle of next month, we shall be ready to move forward.”
Yadudu insisted that none of its policies was in conflict with any of its clients, including airline operators; rather, he said interpretation of policies had been different.