Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has called on owners of abandoned aircrafts at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Ikeja, Lagos, to evacuate them or risk disposal.
The agency is giving owners of such aircraft at the airport seven days ultimatum to relocate the aircraft.
Media statement by General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Takubu Dati, stated that the evacuation of the aircraft became necessary in order for the airport to comply with recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO.
Director of Airport Operations, Captain Henry Omeogu, in the statement, attributed the recent onground incidents at the airport to abandonment of aircraft, stressing that they posed serious safety concerns to aircraft, users of the airport and some infrastructure at the terminal.
The statement appealed to owners of the aircraft, some of which the statement stated had been parked at the graveyard since 2005, to immediately remove them to forestall situations where unscrupulous elements would use abandoned aircraft as hiding places to perpetrate criminal activities.
The spokesman assured that FAAN would continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of all travellers and other airport users in line with its mission statement.
FAAN had in January 2013 issued similar threat to owners of abandoned aircraft, while some of their owners removed them, others could not be removed as planned.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that there are no fewer than 65 abandoned aircraft in eight airports across the country.
The airports include the MMA, Lagos; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja; Sam Mbakwe Cargo International Airport, Owerri; Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; Benin Airport, Benin; Kaduna Airport, Kaduna; Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Maiduguri Airport, Maiduguri.
Some of the airlines with aircraft abandoned at the airports include the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways, Chrome Air, Fresh Air, Dasab Airline, Albarka, Okada Air, Kabo Air, Triax Airline, Okada Air, Oriental Airlines, Sosoliso, Afrijet, Freedom Air, Capital Air, chanchangi Airlines, Bellview Airlines and Gas Air among others.
FAAN had said then that some of the aircraft would be dismantled while their scrap would be transported to a steel company for recycling into other industrial use.
But, by February 2013, a month after the threat, a committee set up by FAAN said the agency had no right to dispose off the aircraft.
National Mirror gathered that the committee took the position following the discovery that most of the owners of the abandoned aircraft were indebted to banks and several other financial institutions in the country and abroad.