Members of the National Union of Air Transport Employee (NUATE) has petitioned the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, accusing Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) of incessant hike in operating charges, NUATE alleged that the charges were capable of inhibiting operations at the nation’s airports.
The petition which was signed by the union’s acting General Secretary, Comrade Olayinka Olu Abioye, reads in part; “there is an industrial crisis looming within our airports between the management of the FAAN and the two handling companies comprising of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) over the latter’s arbitrary, irregular, exorbitant and multiple fees imposed on these companies and its workers without recourse to established rules.”
“The letter continues: “Whereas we affirm and have severally advised the management of the Federal Airports Authority to engage in, and embark on increased internally generated revenue from non-aeronautical and ancillary sources, and whereas the management of FAAN has deployed its attention in this direction, in conformity with its objectives, and whereas these handling companies, being operators of passengers and cargo handling services require conducive and environmentally friendly airports to fulfil their obligations to its numerous customers, which has continued to add value to FAAN as an Airport Operator,” the petition added.
NUATE revealed the reason they moved to write the petition is because of its commitment to promoting industrial harmony. It added that it is important that FAAN acknowledge and respect rights of its “business partner” adding that It the agency should adhere to provision for in Section ii of ICAO’s Policies on airport charges, where it was specifically stated that “consultation with airport users before changes in charging systems or levels of changes are introduced is important.”
“For FAAN therefore to be seen and appreciated by its business partners such as NAHCO and SAHCOL, it must ensure that consultations take place before any change in tariffs are imposed and should not be an annual event, done in the most shady manner, lacking in transparency, bearing in mind the consequences of the impact on airport users.
The Manager, Corporate Communications and Services, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Mr. Tayo Ajakaye, said “After we were made to pay N12,500 per annum per staff for toll gate access, NAHCO staff still pay for parking at the rate of N300 or N400 per entry into car park depending on the type of car; yet, FAAN also bills NAHCO staff on posting to the international airport N15, 000 per car,” Ajakaiye stated.