by ‘Jola Sotubo
According to reports, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Nigeria’s busiest, has been devoid of electricity since Tuesday due to a power outage.
The outage apparently resulted after the main power cable leading to the airport was overloaded and subsequently damaged.
Airlines operating in the terminal have reportedly resorted to manual check-in of passengers as all the systems packed up because of the outage.
As at yesterday, all facilities at the airport, including the chillers, were still not working.
It was also gathered that profilers resorted to the use of torchlight to profile departing passengers while workers on the fifth floor also used torchlight to access their offices.
Besides, the power outage affected the two foreign carriers, which landed simultaneously at the airport, Air France and Lufthansa Airlines.
When the heat became unbearable, passengers of the airlines had to use newspapers as improvised hand fans while some pulled off their clothes.
The outage led to the delay of checked in luggage from the baggage reclaim area as arriving passengers spent over an hour before they could retrieve their luggage from the carousels.
But the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said power supply had been restored at the airport.
Dati said in statement that power was restored after a brief outage which affected some sections of the terminal today (yesterday).
He said: “The power outage, which mostly affected the ‘E’ Wing of the terminal, was caused by an underground armoured cable fault, leading to billowing of smoke in the affected area.
“The outage did not affect operations at the terminal, but some services were temporarily shut down to enable our engineers effect repairs to the damaged cables.
“FAAN regrets any inconvenience the brief power outage caused airline passengers and operators at the terminal.
“The authority wishes to assure the public that such power outage will soon become a thing of the past when the power improvement project at the airport, involving the installation of six ultramodern generators, is commissioned.
“The new generators are being test run and will soon be commissioned.”