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FG now allows Helicopters into Abuja airport, maintains no-fly zone within Abuja
The Federal Government has rescinded the ban on the use of helicopters shuttle services between Kaduna and Abuja as repair works continue at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
But the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while addressing State House Correspondents on Wednesday explained copters can now take off and land only within safe areas of the Abuja Airport as the city centre remained a no-fly zone.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, had Sunday relied on security risk announced the ban on such services.
Serika “On the helicopter issue, the National Security Adviser has the constitutional responsibility vested on him by the President to advise him on national security matters.
“In his wisdom, he had earlier sent out letters banning helicopters operation into the (Abuja) airport but the National Security Adviser has earlier this morning (Wednesday) said helicopters will continue to fly into Abuja airport from wherever.
“Then, the procedure that they will use to approach the airport under landing spot will be advised accordingly before the end of today (Wednesday).
“This means that helicopters can come into Abuja and out bearing in mind that within the metropolitan city of Abuja, there are no fly zones and this is very normal in every country.
“They have areas where there are no fly zones but the National Security Adviser this morning approved that helicopters should enter Abuja airport and out but the procedures in which helicopters should enter into Abuja and the spot which the helicopters will land will be advised in due course and it shall be before the end of today (Wednesday).”
It was not clear if the change in decision stemmed from complains by Helicopter companies who had leased more copters from abroad to boost service delivery within the Abuja Airport repair season.
This is based on the fact that many of them who had stationed their copters in Kaduna Airport before the ban said if the order remained, they will be losing over N20bn having leased more than their original fleet to raise services.