Abuja Airport To Be Shut For Six Weeks

A damaged portion of the runway at the Abuja Airport
A damaged portion of the runway at the Abuja Airport

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, will be closed for six weeks between February and March 2017.

The minister explained that the closure is to allow for a total reconstruction on the badly damaged airport runway.

“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway almost throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed,” Sirika said.

“That is when we are going to do the mid-section of the runway. The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for than 10 years on completion early next year.”

Sirika said Abuja-bound passengers from any part of the world would use Kaduna airport as alternative during the six-week closure to passengers.

He said arrangement had been finalised with Kaduna, adding that while the federal government would provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, the state government would provide security.

The minister noted that the cost implication of the project will be huge on the part of government, but added that it is a necessity.

He added that a “palliative approach is wrong because three years down we will come back to do the same repairs,” but total reconstruction will “last for more than 10 years on completion early next year.”






     

     

    “Therefore, we decided to go for the bigger option, which is to do structural repairs of the runway which will take about six months to complete.”

    On the bilateral air agreement with other countries, Sirika said government had signed BASA with 18 countries that Nigerians frequently visit and do business.

    The MOUs, he said, would give Nigeria the opportunity to operate air services with 18 countries.

    “With this, we have the freedom to fly and land safely in other air space and this will assist in opening our market,” he said.

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