The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said the newly completed terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, will process 15 million passengers annually when it begins operations.
Mr Saleh Dunoma, the Managing Director of FAAN, said that the terminal building was designed essentially to transport passengers.
He said the terminal building would be inaugurated on December 20 to enhance the operational capacity of the airport.
The FAAN boss disclosed that the current carrying capacity of the airport was 7.5 million passengers per annum.
He said that the inauguration of the new terminal would bring about expansion to the airport.
He said that passengers would begin to enjoy comfort and efficient services, saying the terminal was built and equipped with modern facilities such as modern check-in, baggage handling and security facilities.
“Currently, Abuja is doing like 7.5 million passengers annually in the old terminal, both domestic and international.
He said that the nation now had a terminal that can process 15 million passengers which he described as a great departure from what it had before.
“It is essentially designed for passengers, it is not the kind of terminal where you have several offices and aviances, it is just designed for passenger purposes and duty offices only.
“So, most of the offices are going to remain in the old facility and then we will provide posts for the agencies that will participate in the processing of passengers.
“All the passenger-handling facilities like the modern security equipment that are important for security are available in the new terminal.
“We have modern check-in facility, we have modern baggage handling facility, and we have modern security surveillance gadget in the terminal.
“It is a lot of departure from what we had in the existing facility and the arrangement is for the passenger-flow to be more efficient than what we had in the old terminal building,’’ he said.
Dunoma said that there were plans to make sure that the old and new terminals work together to ensure connectivity.
According to him, the authority will change its modalities of operations by providing free trolleys and WiFi services for all passengers in the new terminal.
He added that the new terminal would attract more passengers and patronage from more international airlines.
He said that there had been applications for additional frequencies into Abuja by some airlines.
The FAAN boss said that authority had decided to delay granting such approvals because of the limited capacity and in order not to create congestions pending when the new facility would become operational.
The Abuja Airport is one of the four new terminals being constructed at the cost of $600 million by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) under the Export-Import Bank of China loan.
The others are in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano and are being financed from the $500 million loan from China-Exim bank and $100 million counterpart funding from the Federal Government.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October inaugurated the one in Port Harcourt while the remaining two are expected to be opened for operations in 2019.