As the clock ticks toward March 8th for the proposed closure of the Abuja airport, voices of those in support of the closure is gathering momentum.
While the debate is still ranging in some quarters, an airline operator in the country, Captain Val Tongo has thrown his weight behind the proposed closure, stressing that there is no better time than now to effect the repairs of the Airport Runway for safety reasons.
According to captain Tongo, the decision by the Federal Government is the best option to enhance flight safety into the airport.
He condemned the stance of some industry stakeholders on the issue, pointing out that the current debate on the perceived inconveniences that come with such closure should not overshadow the safety consideration, adding that continued flights into the Abuja airport is hazardous.Captain Tongo wondered what the debate is all about, whether it is about safety or disaster, stressing that “aviation is all about safety, safety and safety before commercial consideration or inconvenience”.
Capt. Tongo who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Allied Air Limited, a Cargo airline whose concern is the movement of Nigerian Currency notes in and out of Abuja for the Central Bank of Nigeria is in support of the closure in spite of the fact that his business would also be affected by the decision.
The Allied Air boss was of the opinion that persistent flights into the poor state of the runway has a lot of implications for instance, if there is an incident or accident, it will attract high insurance premium.He further noted that the nation and indeed airline operators would be better off at the completion of the rehabilitation exercise if “we could endure and cooperate with the government in proffering a lasting solution”.