From Wednesday, March 8, Dubai will introduce a new baggage rule that will make bags without flat surfaces to be rejected at airports.
This means that when this rule is enforced, the popular ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag that is very common among Nigerian travelers, will be regarded as “non-compliant baggage”.
The airport authority released pictures of items in bubble wrap that it said slowed down the system.
Commenting on the development, the vice-president of terminal operations at the Dubai International, Ali Angizeh, said irregular shaped or oversized bags could disrupt the advanced baggage systems that would soon be introduced.
He explained that the new rule would reduce the risk of baggage mishandling at check-in counters.
“Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world. However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams.
“These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.
“We are trying to get the message out there as much as possible. Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it repacked in boxes for a fee.”
The Dubai head of baggage operations at the airport, John Dyett, said on many occasions the bags in question were unsecured and simply wrapped in plastic and tied with rope.
“This type of baggage will be placed into cardboard boxes, which are flat sided and as a result can go through our system without causing blockages. This service will be provided at the same counter where passengers get plastic wrapping for their suitcases.
“We have empathy with passengers but we also have to ensure the smooth operation of the airport and delays with baggage drop-off can then lead to delays in check-in operations.
“The huge scale and complex nature of the airport mean that its baggage system is more susceptible to jamming by oversized or irregular-shaped bags, he said.”
Meanwhile, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be temporarily closed from midnight on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. This is to enable the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), carry out major rehabilitation of the runway at the airport.
FAAN’s managing director, Saleh Dunoma, confirmed this in a statement released last Thursday. He also confirmed that the Kaduna International Airport would serve as the alternate from March 8.
He explained that this was in compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) annexes.
“Normal operations will re-commence at the Abuja Airport on April 19,” he said.
He thus, appealed to airline operators, passengers, airport users and other stakeholders to bear with the FAAN, saying it would continue to upgrade facilities at the nation’s airports.