Abuja Airport runway to be closed for 6 weeks for repairs in Q1 2017—FG
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has disclosed that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja runway will be closed to traffic for six weeks between February and March next year for total repairs.
The meaning of this according to the Minister is that during the period, all Abuja bound passengers from any part of the world will use Kaduna airport as alternative during the six weeks closure to passengers.
He said arrangement had been finalized with Kaduna State, adding that while the federal government will provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, the state government will provide security.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja, he noted that the closure became necessary to allow the handling company to carry out total re-construction on the badly damaged airport runway as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstruction through the emergency procurement procedure for work to commence.
Though he was silent on the planned privatization of the facility, Sirika said that while the runway would be put to use under the six months of rehabilitation, the six weeks would allow the mid section of the runway to be reconstructed.
He said government could not afford to close down Abuja airport totally for a long time as repairs had been ongoing at the runway in the last three months.
Senator Serika said “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. 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’’, he said.
Though the minister maintained sealed lips on the total value of the contract, he said the repairs will cost government a substantial amount of money “but we think that palliative approach is wrong because three years down we will come back to do the same repairs.
“Therefore, we decided to go for the bigger option which is to do structural repairs if the runway which will take about six weeks to complete.