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    Stakeholders ask govt to convert 18 airports to shopping malls…. says only 4 viable

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    Stakeholders in the aviation sector of the economy have urged the federal government of Nigeria to convert what they termed ” unviable” airports to shopping malls to generate revenue.

    According to them out of a total of 22 airports in the country only 4 are commercially viable

    They spoke at the 2022 annual conference of League of Airport and Aviation correspondents held in Ikeja Lagos at the weekend

    Bankole Bernard, an aviation stakeholder said only four airports, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, out of 22 airports in the country are viable over the years

    According to him, efforts to enhance the operations of Owerri Airport, another international aerodrome to operate from sunrise to sunset had proved abortive

    He urged the federal and state governments to consider the construction of shopping malls and other facilities that would attract more commercial activities to the unviable airports.
    He emphasised that aviation operates using international standards and appealed to governments at all levels to take a cue from other countries which ensured commercial viability of their airports by thinking outside the box.
    “What are the possible solutions to consider given the numerous challenges we are faced with in the industry? We can start with the modernisation of airport terminals with shopping malls.
    “This will contribute to the commercial viability of the airports and other necessary infrastructures like the internet and constant power supply to support businesses.
    “We must begin to think of an alternative power supply like renewable energy to keep the airports functional and reduce the cost of operation in the long run.
    “This will also make the airports viable and attractive.
    “There is the area of interconnectivity within airports. The interconnectivity of the local airports to the international airports will contribute to the economic viability of the airports,’’ he said.
    He argued that the suggestions he made would further enhance commercial activities and boost non-aeronautics revenues to the 18 airports that had remained unviable.
    He added that government could also consider the provision of affordable hotels, which would give credence to investments in the industry.
    Bernard emphasised that the ability to provide Bed & Breakfast hotels around the terminals of some of the moribund airports would be of great attraction, while also increasing the viability of the airports as well.

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