Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) (IATA: LOS, ICAO: DNMM) is located in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria, and is the major airport serving the city of Lagos, southwestern Nigeria and the entire nation. Originally known as Lagos International Airport, it was renamed midway during construction after a former Nigerian military head of state Murtala Muhammed. The international terminal was modelled after Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The airport opened officially on 15 March 1979. It is the main base for Nigeria's flag carrier airlines, Air Nigeria and Arik Air.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport consists of an international and a domestic terminal, located about one kilometre from each other. Both terminals share the same runways. This domestic terminal used to be the old Ikeja Airport. International operations moved to the new international airport when it was ready while domestic operations moved to the Ikeja Airport, which became the domestic airport. The domestic operations were relocated to the old Lagos domestic terminal in 2000 after a fire. A new domestic privately funded terminal known as MMA2 has been constructed and was commissioned on 7 April 2007.
In 2009, the airport served 5,644,572 passengers.
During the late 1980s and 1990s, the international terminal had a reputation of being a dangerous airport. From 1992 through 2000, the US Federal Aviation Administration posted warning signs in all US international airports advising travelers that security conditions at LOS did not meet ICAO minimum standards. In 1993 the FAA suspended air service between Lagos and the United States. During this period, security at LOS continued to be a serious problem. Travelers arriving in Lagos were harassed both inside and outside of the airport terminal by criminals. Airport staff contributed to its reputation. Immigration officers required bribes before stamping passports, while customs agents demanded payment for nonexistent fees. In addition, several jet airplanes were attacked by criminals who stopped planes taxiing to and from the terminal and robbed their cargo holds. Many travel guides suggested that Nigeria-bound travelers fly into Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano and take domestic flights or ground transportation into Lagos.
Following Olusegun Obasanjo's democratic election in 1999, the security situation at LOS began to improve. Airport police instituted a "shoot on sight" policy for anyone found in the secure areas around runways and taxiways, stopping further airplane robberies. Police secured the inside of the terminal and the arrival areas outside. The FAA ended its suspension of direct flights to Nigeria in 2001 in recognition of these security improvements.
Recent years have seen substantial improvements at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Malfunctioning and non-operational infrastructure such as air conditioning and luggage belts have been repaired. The entire airport has been cleaned, and many new restaurants and duty-free stores have opened. Bilateral Air Services Agreements signed between Nigeria and other countries are being revived and new ones signed. These agreements have seen the likes of Emirates, Ocean Air, Delta and China Southern Airlines express interest and receive landing rights to Nigeria's largest international airport.
The Federal Government has given approval for the expansion of the departure and arrival halls of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to accommodate the ever increasing traffic at the airport.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
The airport includes the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. The Lagos office of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is located in Aviation House on the grounds of the airport.
Arik Air's head office is in the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of the airport. Aero Contractors has its head office in the Private Terminal of the Domestic Wing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
Prior to its disestablishment Afrijet Airlines had its head office in the NAHCO Building on the grounds of the airport.
Accidents and incidents
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