… to solve traffic crunch at MMIA
As airline operators continue to groan under high operating costs, chief of which is Jet A1 commonly known as Aviation Fuel, Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has said that as the prices of crude is coming down airlines have started reviewing their ticket prices downwards.
This is just as he said that plans are on the way to resolve the traffic crunch at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) during peak periods
Speaking to reporters in a parley, Ostia said so long as the country keeps importing the product (Jet A1) the price will remain high but believes that since fuel is bought in the future market and orders are being placed that when fuel is ordered in the new price regime, the product will be cheaper as Jet A1 is regulated.
“As long as we keep on importing aviation fuel, it will keep on be high. It is not about the pipelines, but the pipelines would help to bring it faster, but the cost is already in the importation of the product and the fact that it is deregulated.”
“So, with the coming down of the crude oil prices, I believe the aviation fuel will also come down. Some airlines are already reversing their tickets to show the new price. That is the good thing about deregulation. “
“Because fuel are bought in the future market, orders are already placed and by the time they place the new order, I’m sure the aviation fuel price will come down”
Chidoka said that already due to expansion and competition prices for local flights are reducing contrary to views that Jet A1 is costing operators money.
“Already, the aviation industry is witnessing an expansion in the local flights and you can see that their prices are coming down despite the claim that aviation fuel is costing them money, but with the competition coming, you can see that the prices are coming down. “
“We are watching that with keen interest and we hope that it is not at the cost of safety. We will intervene when we see that the fight is getting unhealthy.”
On traffic during the peak periods at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) the Minister said that it was a bit complex but it would be resolved stating that there are plans to facilitate check-in by using the GAT and MMA2.
“The traffic control at the airport is a little bit complex but we are going to resolve it. Since I came from a traffic control organization, we are going to figure out how to make that traffic work. The challenges are clear, it’s over-crowding. A lot of people are going to same direction at the same time. It’s like asking how to resolve traffic control at 7am on the Third Mainland Bridge. The only way to do that is to reduce people from going to the island.”
“So, all our key airlines coming at the same time and the departure is also at the same time. So, we are looking at how we are going to optimise the space that we have at the airport and see whether there are other points from the airport where passengers can check-in through and transit by bus to the international terminal.”
“I have set up a committee on airport optimization, to look at all the spaces we have at GAT, MMA2, and see whether check-in processes can be done without everybody having to come to the airport. We are looking at that and we are hoping that it would help in resolving the traffic problem. “
“Also, we want to stop vehicles that are not the ones carrying passengers; the pilot vehicles, the soldiers, police from not going to the ramp because the ramp is too small compare to the traffic volume that we have today. This is part of the master plan I talked about. The airport was planned for a certain number of people, when you go beyond that number, you are going to have that challenges that we currently have.”