Posted by News Express | 3 July 2014 | 3,463 times
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday announced the closure of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja for maintenance from July 5 to 7, 2014.
A statement issued by the Coordinating General Manager (Aviation Parastatals) Yakubu Dati said with closure of the runaway, the airport will be closed to traffic.
Mr. Dati explained that the facility upgrade is in line with ICAO requirements and NCAA approved safety and Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) while apologising for “the inconvenience the closure will cause air passengers and airline operators.”
This closure to traffic to fix a runway further exposes the need to have a second runway at the Abuja airport which has become the second busiest after the Lagos airport.
Supervising Minister of Aviation Chief Samuel Ortom had recently inspected the runway following concerns that some parts of it were ruptured. At the visit, he had said that the ruptured areas would be fixed as soon as possible.
It is estimated that the local airlines will lose N180 million in revenue within the three days of the closure.
Arik Air, the biggest local carrier, operates 36 flights to and from Abuja daily. It stands to lose about 65 flights.
Aero Contractors, the second largest domestic carrier, operates 22 flights to and from Abuja daily while Medview airlines operates 12 daily.
Meanwhile, there would also be flight cancellations or re-routing from foreign airlines like British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa Air, Ethiopian Airline, among others.
Our correspondent gathered that the airlines may likely operate their flights into Lagos from where passengers may proceed to Abuja by road.
Arik Air spokesman, Mr. Adebanji Ola, said the company would cancel its Abuja flights till Monday.
Dana Air spokesman Sam Ogbogoro also said they have no choice but to comply.
The foreign airlines couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.
A cross section of passengers who spoke to our correspondent said they have two choices; flying to Kaduna and return to Abuja by road or travel to Abuja by road from Lagos.
A passenger Helen Aunde said she would go by road rather than fly to Kaduna.
Another passenger Kelvin Segun said he may likely suspend all his travels to Abuja till Monday after the repairs.
•Text courtesy of Daily Trust.
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