The committee also directed that similar action be carried out in other airports across the country. The committee gave the directive following explanations from officials of PHCN and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the cause of the blackout at the airport on Saturday which had some aircrafts hovering in the air for hours.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma, said the blackout at the airport was a huge embarrassment to the country.
He, however, assured the people that “every necessary step” must be taken to forestall any such occurrences in the future.
He also directed the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, to ensure a dedicated power line is provided at the airport, noting that the current arrangement was deficient.
Abdulganiyu Umar, the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, had told the committee that the power outage was caused by the ongoing electrical work by FAAN contractors at the airport.
The Head, Electrical Department of FAAN, Mr Sam Dahua, also told the committee that after the power went off, the generators were immediately switched on but they equally failed after a while.
Senator Uzodinma appealed to the government agencies concerned to work together to ensure smooth operations to address the occurrence of such blackouts.
He noted that if FAAN had worked in collaboration with PHCN, the blackout would have been averted.
He also stressed on the need for officials of the distribution company at the airport to be present at their duty posts at all times.
Mr Dahua said all the parties, namely the committee, PHCN, FAAN and the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after consultations.
In the MOU the agencies agreed to collaborate to construct a new 33kv line from Apo transmission substation to the airport.
They also agreed that all the street lights and other electricity consumers would be connected to the line to free the double circuit 33kv feeders dedicated exclusively for the Airport.
The agreement also states that the airport authority shall always inform PHCN whenever it needs to carry out maintenance work on its electrical installations to enable PHCN to provide technical support.
The agreement also states that PHCN shall set up a full-fledged service centre at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, while FAAN will provide office accommodation for the PHCN technical crew.
The parties agreed that PHCN and FAAN would carry out joint due diligence on all the electrical facilities at the airport to re-affirm their state and adequacy for smooth operations.
The MoU was signed by officials of the three agencies and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation.
The power outage at the airport occurred at 4 a.m. and forced passengers on a British Airways flight to wait in the aircraft for more than an hour for the restoration of light before embarking.