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Investigations by Business Hilights have shown that operators of Helicopter services will be the highest gainers in the approaching closure of Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.
The closure is to enable government repair part of the failed portions of the runway at the airport. It is expected to take about six weeks to be delivered by the contracting firm, Julius Berger Plc.
The services will be available for passengers who do not wish to travel from Kaduna to Abuja by road.
But whereas the business will boom within the stipulated period, observers say travelers and mainly Politically Exposed persons (PEPs) may be the highest crop of air travelers that will shuttle in the air using Helicopters after landing from any part of the world in Kaduna Airport.
Already, some Helicopter servicing companies have begun advertising various options for travellers. One of such offers is a 45-minute trip for passengers via the AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky 92 helicopters at N49,999. Analysts say some group of persons may decide to join money and book a Helicopter to Abuja from Kaduna.
Explaining why the repairs on the runway had become unavoidable, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the runway had exceeded its lifespan, explaining that it was built to last 20 years but has been in use for 34 years.
Amaechi added that the government would not change its mind about closing the airport, but would ensure that the airport is opened after the stipulated six weeks.