Barely few days to the reopening of the Abuja airport, work on its runway has been completed with airfield lightning and runway markings.
The airport which was closed to flights on the 8th of March is set to be reopened on April 19th.
Preparatory to the reopening, the minister of state, aviation Senator Hadi Sirika had inspected facilities and given assurance that the quality of work and materials used for the runway reconstruction was according to standards and recommended practice.
Also inspecting the runway and work done, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma expressed satisfaction that the brand new runway built to last for another 20 years would give the safety during landing and take-off.
Mr. Dunoma during the inspection visited on going work at the terminal to ensure passengers comfort before the commencement of flights.
Facilities inspected included the different modules of the airport, the screening areas, fire station, departure and arrival halls among others.
Since the commencement of work on the Abuja airport runway, there have been series of visits to the airport to monitor the progress of work.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo, minister of Information and Culture, heads of aviation agencies and other dignitaries.
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos, minister, Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, “recall that a few days before the closure of the Abuja airport, the then Acting President, His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osibajo, travelled to Kaduna to inspect the facilities at the airport and elsewhere. Also, we held a joint world press conference involving the Minister of Transportation, Minister of Power, Works and Housing (who was represented), Minister of State for Aviation, my humble self and the Inspector-General of Police to avail Nigerians of all necessary information about the Abuja airport closure and the relocation to Kaduna”.
“The Federal Government has done everything possible to ensure the comfort, safety and security of the travelling public during the six-week closure of the Abuja airport. Transportation from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa is free for air passengers, security along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway is such that there is a presence of security agents at short intervals, the expressway itself has been
rehabilitated to ensure a smooth ride and, I can tell you, having travelled on that road at least twice since the relocation, that the ride is smooth, plus the safety and security of passengers at the Kaduna airport are paramount and guaranteed, as have been attested to by many”.
There were also rumour three weeks into the closure of the Abuja airport that the completion of work had been extended to 18 weeks, a rumour debunked by the Minister Alhaji Lai “let me use this opportunity to debunk the erroneous report making the rounds that the closure of the Abuja airport has been extended by 18 weeks. This is not true. The six weeks time line for the closure remains. After six weeks, the Abuja airport will be reopened. The remaining work on the runway will not necessitate the closure of the airport”.
There is no doubt that many air travellers are looking forward to Wednesday 19 th of April when the Abuja airport again will come alive with the operation of flights.