The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed that it would withdraw aviation security, search and rescue and other services to Gombe, Kebbi and Bebi airports due to debtsowed the agency by the management of these airports.

A statement issued by FAAN and signed by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, the agency said, “Following a final notice of payment issued to the above airports over a month ago, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria hereby notifies airlines, passengers and the general public that effective midnight of Sunday December 9, 2018, we are constrained to withdraw the services of our Security officers and Airport Fire and Rescue Services from Gombe, as well as Kebbi and Bebi airports.

“This action has become imperative as the management of Gombe airport is indebted to the Authority to the tune of #607,289,972, while Kebbi and Bebi airports are indebted to the tune of #124,547,240 and #76,772,948 respectively without any concerted effort to pay up the debt.

“The Authority has issued a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) to this effect so as to give operators into the airports the opportunity to review there logistics plan.”

Meanwhile, reacting to the NOTAM, Arik Air has announced that it would withdraw services from Gombe and Osubi airports, while it would relocate its Lagos-Port Harcourt flights, which emanates from MMA2 to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

In a statement signed by the head of communication, Adebanji Ola, Arik Air said, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has notified airlines of the withdrawal of services to Osubi Airport, Warri, Gombe Airport and Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2).

“In a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) issued on Saturday, December 8, 2018, FAAN stated that it will be withdrawing Aviation Security, fire fighting and rescue operations from Osubi, Gombe and MMA2 from midnight of Sunday, December 9, 2018.

“Consequently, Arik Air will be suspending its flights to Osubi Airport, Gombe Airport and move Port Harcourt flights out of MMA2  from Monday, December 10, 2018 until further notice.

“Warri  passengers are advised to use Benin Airport as alternate while Gombe passengers are to use Bauchi Airport as alternate.

“All Arik Air flights to Omagwa Airport Port Harcourt will as from the same date operate from Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal One otherwise known as General Aviation Terminal (GAT). Arik Air regrets any inconvenience the closure of the three airports may cause its esteemed customers. The airline hopes the issue between FAAN and the airport authorities will be resolved soonest.”

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