SAN FRANCISCO, March 06, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has announced that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Abuja will be shut down beginning from Wednesday midnight.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while addressing a press conference on Monday.
Explaining the need to shut the Airport for the reconstruction of its runway, Mohammed said it was due to the total neglect of the runway since it was built over 30 years ago.
“When an airport is built there is a maintenance schedule depending on the number of landings that have been made. After a particular number of landing there is what we call surface cleaning, which is done,” he said.
“After additional landings, we now do resurfacing, after that it is closed completely and we do reconstruction.
“In the case of the Abuja Airport, for 34 years neither surface cleaning has been done nor resurfacing and it has deteriorated, so what we are doing is total reconstruction and there is no other alternative than to close the runway.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the government has kept its promise to make Kaduna Airport ready for use as alternative declaring that adequate logistical arrangements have been made for the comfort and safety of all passengers
He said both the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the National Society of Engineers (NSE) have agreed with the government that the integrity of the Abuja Airport runway has been degraded and that the only way to ensure safety on the runway is total reconstruction.
Also, the Minister of State in charge of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said observations made by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo who was in Kaduna Airport on Friday had been taken care of saying that the government is adopting the Concession Model to ensure that all the airports in the country are rehabilitated to meet global best practices and safety.
He revealed that passengers travelling between Abuja and Kaduna, where Abuja-bound flights will be diverted during the closure will be provided with free bus and train service during the closure.
He said the government has set up a website: www.abujaairportclosure.info through which information will be shared with Nigerians.