The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has shut down operations of Gombe and Kebbi state airports as a result of over N800 million debt.
The shutdown took effect today, a few days after the agency issued a notice to both private and state-owned airports in Nigeria to settle their debts on or before April 24 which was later extended to April 30th, Naija News reports.
“Following the notice of intention to sanction issued to owners/operators of private airports indebted to FAAN which lapses on Wednesday, 24th April 2019, FAAN hereby serves another seven days notice of grace till Tuesday, April 30, 2019, for them to settle the debts,” FAAN stated in its circular last week.
“In view of the above, the authority hereby notifies private airport operators that the services of our aviation security, as well as aerodrome rescue and fire fighting personnel, will no longer be available for operations of their airports with effect from Wednesday, May 1, 2019, as FAAN can no longer keep this personnel at airports without payment.”
FAAN listed the defaulting airports as Jigawa State Airport, Kebbi State Airport, Gombe State Airport, Victor Attah International Airport in Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa International Cargo Airport, Taraba State Airport, Delta State Airport, Murtala Mohammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) and the Osubi Airport in Delta State.
Following Gombe and Kebbi’s failure to meet up with the ultimatum, FAAN announced the withdrawal of men of the safety and fire rescue and the aviation security personnel attached to them.
Without these services available any airport is automatically closed for operations because no airline can fly to any of the two airports.