Flight operations in and out of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos have been crippled in the past 48 hours due to outage of power supply.
Since Saturday night, airlines have either been profiling or processing outbound passengers with torchlight or manually, while Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and other security agencies attached to the airport had to resort to manual processes for passengers as the automation system collapsed completely.
Our correspondent gathered that the entire terminal was thrown into darkness around 10 p.m. on Saturday and as at the time of filing in this report, the situation had not changed.
It was observed that only the backup light, which lighted up the background of the terminal, was functional, but was not enough to supply power to even the profiling area.
On Saturday night, KLM passengers were forced to board the plane with the aid of torchlight, while staff of other departing carriers like Delta 2Air, British Airways, Air France, South African Airways and Lufthansa either used light from their phones and torchlight to profile and board passengers without proper valuation.
Also affected early yesterday were arrival flights of Arik Air (London and New York), Virgin Atlantic from London and Air Maroc from Morocco as their passengers used the ramp, rather than the fingers to assess the airport.
Passengers were seen discussing the situation and blamed FAAN for the outage, noting that no reason was given by officials of the airport for the outage.
General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, attributed the outage to interruption of power supply to the airport by Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, and assured that its engineers were working round the clock to rectify the situation.
Dati explained that during the period of an outage, FAAN switched on to its independent power supply, but decried that when the power was restored, there was a surge, which affected its KV 16 transformer that serves the air-bridges and rendered them unserviceable.
“This adversely affected operations of departing flights. The heavy rainfall further delayed attempts by engineers to effect repairs immediately.
“FAAN wishes to apologise to passengers, airlines and the general public for the inconvenience caused by this development as efforts are being made to find a lasting solution,” he said.
Power outage at the airport has been a recurring decimal as the entire facility has over the years been thrown into darkness with no solution from FAAN.
Earlier in the year, the MMIA terminal was thrown into darkness for over six hours due to power failure.
Passengers arriving and departing the airport were thrown into unnecessary suffocation at the immigration areas, the check-in area and the airline counters.
Before the six hour outage, power supply to the airport had been irregular for over a week while FAAN seemed helpless on the issue.