The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has withdrawn its Aviation Security and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel from Gombe and Kebbi Airports over N732 million indebtedness.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Yakubu said the withdrawal of FAAN services from both airports, which had technically grounded flight operations took effect from midnight of May 1.
According to FAAN, Gombe Airport, which is owned by the Gombe State Government, owes the authority N607. 9 million, while Kebbi Airport operated by the Kebbi State Government owes FAAN N124. 5 million.
FAAN, in a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM), earlier in April had threatened to withdraw services from the airports and others indebted to the agency and had given them a deadline of April 30 to clear their outstanding debts.
It said: “The authority shall be constrained to commence the implementation of sanctions at the expiration of this notice If the organisations failed or refused to pay up as advised.
“In view of the above, the authority hereby notifies private airport operators that the services of our Aviation Security and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel will no longer be available for the operations of their airports with effect from May 1.”
The agency had noted that it could no longer keep these workers at the airports working without payment by the operators and owners.