The Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has announced that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be closed for six weeks in February and March to complete repairs on the runway, according to NAN. The airport is currently undergoing a six-month rehabilitation that will see extensive repairs carried out on the runway, amongst other major renovations.
The minister explained that the government could not afford to close down the airport for an extended period due to its importance as a primary entry point into the country and its significance as a major travel hub within West Africa.
“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway almost throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed.
“That is when we are going to do the midsection of the runway,” the minister revealed.
According to Sirika, early commencement of the repairs was made possible by President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of an emergency procurement procedure.
“The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for more than 10 years on completion early next year,” Sirika said.
The minister also outlined provisional plans being put in place for passengers during the airport’s closure, explaining that all traffic will be redirected to Kaduna Airport, which is about 1oo miles north of Abuja. He added that federal authorities will provide buses to transport passengers to and from Kaduna, while the Kaduna state government provides the necessary security.