The managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, George Uriesi, has advised that Nigeria's airports will take “the spirit of the aerotropolis” and boost revenue by attracting non-travellers as well as those who are taking a flight.
Nigeria is undertaking a major overhaul of its aviation, currently redeveloping 12 of its airports. The country's Federal Ministry of Aviation unveiled its 'Roadmap' in 2011, seeking to “reposition aviation as a major contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product” and for Nigeria to become a regional and continental hub for Africa.
In the two years since, the Ministry has partnered with a number of major international construction and aviation companies, including China’s state-owned construction giant, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd, which is assisting with Aerotropolis-related construction at several of Nigeria's airports.
In addition, Boeing is establishing a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) presence in the country, providing the Boeing Training Hub in Nigeria. The aviation firm is carrying out technical assessment of all aircrafts operated by domestic airlines in the country, undertaking a fleet renewal and acquisition programme for the airlines, and developing an aviation database for the country.
Speaking with local publishers This Day Live, Uriesi said the Ministry and the Airports Authority “recognise the importance of non-aeronautical sources as the bedrock of revenue at the airport”.
“We intend to boost the aeronautical revenue by making our airports a rendezvous in the spirit of the aerotropolis programme so that people who may not even want to travel will come over to the airport and spend time as long as they keep to the security guidelines. There will be a lot of offerings that attract people both locally and those who will be visiting from outside,” he said.
“The Ministry of Aviation has already conceptualised that in the aerotropolis and it will be fully actualised when the new terminals at four major airports in the country will be completed. Meanwhile, the expanded international terminal at the Lagos airport is offering much more to the passenger than it used to do before,” Uriesi added.