By Louis Iba
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says the epileptic supply of electricity to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos is due to the excavation of electricity cables to allow contractors do some work on a new terminal at the airport.
The MMIA has been hit with several power outages in the last three weeks causing a lot of inconveniences to international airlines and passengers. Power outages has forced most of the airlines to use the ramp to board and disembark passengers instead of the fingers within the airports which are powered by electricity. The worsening power supply has also affected the cooling or airconditioning systems at the airport. FAAN which manages the airport said yesterday the power disruptions would continue in the weeks ahead even though it assured that it was battling to find a lasting solution to the power interruptions.
According to the General Manager, Public Affairs of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, the electric cables buried underground that provide power at the airport were inadvertently excavated by construction workers at the location where the new terminal is being built.
Said Dati, “Preliminary reports indicate the cause of the outage is the damage of two 11 KVA underground cables located within the construction premises of the new international terminal.”
“Our engineers are urgently rectifying the problem. However, FAAN will relocate these cables out of the construction site to prevent re-occurrence and we crave your indulgence while that is being done. FAAN apologises for the inconvenience caused to airlines, passengers and the general public,” Dati added.
In recent months, the demand for electricity at the airport has been overstretched due to increased activities and expansion of the terminal and FAAN has acquired 500 KVA transformer and it is in the process of installation the equipment.
“Once we move the cables from the construction site we are sure we would have stable electricity supply at the airport, but to permanently meet the growing demand and in view of the rapid and continuous increase of activities in the near future, we are installing the 500 KVA transformer,” Dati said.
Dati also disclosed that FAAN would replace all the old underground cables, which were installed when the airport was built almost 40 years ago.