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FG may shut Enugu Airport over deplorable runway


[File] Front view of the domestic wing of Akanu-Ibiam International Airport Enugu<br />PHOTO: LAWRENCE NJOKU

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu may be closed down following the poor state of the runway.

Sirika disclosed this yesterday at a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos, saying the airport will be degraded for international operations because the runway length is not ideal for such.

He also hinted that the Lagos international airport terminal would be partially pulled down by Julius Berger for major facelift, which would cost N14 billion. He added that this would happen after the inauguration of the new terminal.

According to Sirika, the market, TV masts and free trade zone around the Enugu airport needs to be relocated for it to be fit and for safe flights.

Last year, some pilots operating flights to the airport called the attention of concerned authorities to the dilapidated nature of the runway, which they described as a death trap. In September last year, the South-East Governors Forum (SEGF) raised alarm over the bad condition of facilities at the airport, declaring it unsafe.

The chairman of SEGF, David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who read the communiqué after their meeting at Government House, Enugu, appealed to the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate the runway and other vital facilities in the airport.

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