Acting President assures flight safety at kaduna airport

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……expressed satisfaction of work

…..says foreign airlines will come

As the kaduna airport is set as alternate to Abuja airport,  Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has assured passengers and service providers that all will be ready for commencement of flights and other activities before the Abuja airport closure midnight March 7.

Prof. Osinbanjo who gave the assurance during a tour of the kaduna airport facilities said though considerable job has been done, he said the contractor handling the terminal had been urged to speedy up before Tuesday.

“Basically, what we are trying to look at the state of readiness and considering the fact that this is really a local airport, a lot of work need to be done to get to the kind of standard that is required.”

He continued, “Work has made considerable progress, but there is still quite a few things to be done but some of them will be completed this weekend, the ceiling and air conditioning and other facilities. But we think that it may not be in a complete state readiness by Wednesday but I expect that within the short period they have, it should have been a very beautiful and comfortable work.”

Osinbajo said, “We have already told them that they certainly need to speed up, as a matter of fact, they need to double the number of people who are working on the ceiling and other facilities, they certainly need to work much faster and much more diligently to deliver the job.”

Commenting on the decline by some foreign airlines to fly to kaduna,  the Acting President said government is talking with foreign airlines to reconsider their earlier decision.

“Well, one thing that is very clear is that it is not all foreign airlines that are declining to come, I have met some here today who are willing to come, I have just spoken to Ethiopian airline, they are willing to come. I think what we need to tell foreign airlines is that obviously, this is an emergency and a temporary arrangement and they should really work with us with that temporary arrangement and we are concerned about safety and comfort.”

He noted , ”They are here also to see for themselves, we will be happy if they work with us, we will be happy if they see it as a temporary and cope with some of the flight inconveniences here and there. And so we are persuading them to see it as a good temporary arrangement and some of them are quite happy”.

Speaking in a similar vein,  Managing Director of the Nigerian Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma , stressed that everything the foreign airlines required to operate safe operations are on ground.

“We are ready to take foreign airlines, all the things that they need for international operations are on ground, what is important actually, is the safety equipment they need, the ILS has been installed, the runway is good, the terminal building will be ready in the next five days, the acting president has directed the contractors to complete some items before the commencement of international Flights.”

Dunoma’s counterpart in the the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Capt. Fola, said, “NAMA works to provide safety facilities because our work is Navigation, Surveillance and Communication, NAMA is very satisfied that it has done a good job. The glide scopes, the ILS are in place, we have the approach flight that actually complements the ILS. The mobile tower will moved from Abuja to this place on the night of March 7 once Abuja is closed. The NAMA engineers have been fantastic in installing many of these facilities.”

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