Enugu Airport to reopen in April
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, yesterday inspected theongoing reconstruction exercise at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and gave the assurance of a re-opening by April.
Sirika said that the runway would be completed before the celebration of Easter following an intensive rehabilitation work seen at the site.
Recall that the Federal Government recently approved the sum of N10 billion for the rehabilitation of the airport. The airport was in August 2019 shut down for urgent repairs following safety concerns over the damaged runway.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had prior to the closure said the move was aimed at resolving the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations.
Though December completion date was earlier fixed, delays in the rehabilitation had caused many to raise doubts on the commitment of the Federal Government to fix the airport.
Sirika, however, noted that because of the strategic importance of the airport to the South-Eastern region, the Federal Government carefully contracted the project to a Messrs PW Limited, “and that the contractor has given assurance that the project will be completed before Easter.”
Stating that the new international terminal being constructed at the airport will also be completed before the end of the year, Sirika noted that Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Air Field Lightning (AFL), Taxi lights and other key deliverables are also parts of the project.
The minister was accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Cecelia Ezeilo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Musa Hassan, the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, and Nigeria’s representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Ben Tukur.
The fresh optimism may have foreclosed recent fears that the ownership contest over a portion of the Airport land will delay the repair works and reopening of the airport.
The Guardian had reported that the land contest between a private estate developer, J.J Emejulu, and FAAN lately festered, with fresh litigations then in the offing.
Apparently aware of its implication for the critical infrastructure, concerned stakeholders in the region had expressed readiness to rally behind FAAN and timely completion of the project.