Kaduna airport comes alive as diverted flights land
• AIB to release final report on 2012 Dana plane crash next week
Air travel business was at full swing yesterday at the Kaduna International Airport with diverted flights from Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria making safe landings. This is coming as Julius Berger mobilised men and machinery to commence the rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
As early as 7:15 am Thursday, domestic airlines from Lagos began to touch down in Kaduna, with multitudes of passengers, such as has never been seen at the airport before.
By 10 a.m, the terminal was already packed with passengers, either arriving or departing the airport. At the apron were two Dana Air aircraft, two Air Peace, one Med-View and seven private jets waiting for VIPs. It was learnt that Arik and Aero came and had immediately departed after picking booked passengers.
Lufthansa Airlines yesterday said there was no truth in the report that it had resolved to use the Kaduna airport after inspecting the refurbished aerodrome,.
Media officer of the airline, Hakeem Jimo, said though Lufthansa looks forward to the re-opening of the NAIA following its renovation and continuing to serve its customers in the Nigerian capital, “for operational reasons, Lufthansa will not serve an alternative airport during the short six-week closure.”
The International Terminal Manager, NAIA, Mrs. Hajara Musa, confirmed that the rehabilitation of the runway had commenced as announced by the Federal Government, adding that it would last for six weeks.
Musa said: “FAAN management has handed over the airport runway rehabilitation to Julius Berger Plc and the construction company is on ground carrying materials from one place to the other as it commences work on the runway,” she said.
The airport was virtually empty as only few persons, particularly staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, were seen at the facility on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday said all was set for release of the final report on Dana Air plane crash of June 3, 2012 next week.Chief Executive Officer of the AIB, Akin Olateru, said the Dana Air report is among 37 of such reports set for release in days to come.
Olateru, who spoke at the a forum organised by the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos Thursday, said the final report of the Dana Air crash, along with three other crashes that occurred between 2011 and 2016, would be submitted to the presidency for approval before being released to the public.
It will be recalled that the ill-fated Dana plane claimed 163 lives after crashing in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos.