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Commercial Flights Resume In Abuja Airport Wednesday

FORTY-ONE days after its runway was shut for major repairs, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NNIA), Abuja, will re- open today, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Managing Director Saleh Dunoma said yesterday.

According to Dunoma, everything about the Abuja Airport runway was ready and awaiting the certification of the aerodrome by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ascertain compliance with operational standards.

He said the certification will be completed in two days, before the airport runway will open for commercial flights on Wednesday.

Dunoma told reporters that the two-day certification window will to allow NCAA to make corrections and on any area in line with civil aviation requirements.

He said: “We will be ready by Monday (April 17, 2017). But, we are leaving the remaining two days for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This is because the NCAA has to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards.

“After the NCAA does that, we will bring in the traffic. But if they do not, we have the opportunity of making corrections with the two days we have saved.”

On the reopening of the runway on Wednesday, Dunoma said: “No doubt about that, we will open it as scheduled. Just as I have said, we have been working with the NCAA throughout the period. They have been making corrections. But, for formality, we need to check and make sure that all the necessary corrections meet the requirement of the civil aviation authority.

“All the critical items of work are hundred per cent ready, except may be two items, which of course is the markings and the cleaning. Other critical item which is not serious work is the inspection by the NCAA who will come and certify that the repairs that had been carried out is satisfactory and give us the go ahead to bring in traffic to Abuja.

“Asphalt work is hundred per cent complete; markings have reached almost seventy per cent; and the airfield lighting system has attained eighty per cent completion.”

Responding to when the NCAA will carry out their inspection and certify the runway, he said: “We have written to them and they will come to do the preliminary inspection. If there is any observation as a result of the inspection, we will now make sure we carry out corrections.”

On the terminal building: “We are improving on all the services there and repairing all the items that are bad. It will be ready by Monday (tomorrow). Most of the items there have been completed. We are just trying to clean up.”

He said that FAAN has carried out other minor repairs at Abuja Airport, taking advantage of the closure as the perfect timing.

Dunoma said: “There is additional work which has nothing to do with this repair but we are seizing the opportunity of the closure of the airport to do.

This has to do with the APEX (Airport Excellence in Safety)-related items. We are now levelling all the airfield lightings’ locations, all the installations and flash with the ground surface. In case of any skidding, there will not be concrete projection above the ground surface.”

Concerning the calibration of Navigational Aids, he said: “We have not tampered with the Navids. We just worked on the runway. What we tampered with is the airfield lightings and the airfield lightings are being returned to the same position.

“The runway does not need calibration. All we need to check is to make sure there is 100 per cent illumination. Calibration is done periodically. When the time comes for calibration, the appropriate authority will calibrate the Instrument Landing System (ILS).”

The Abuja airport was shut on March 8 for six weeks to enable Julius Berger rebuild the 3.6-kilometre runway.

The runway, which was constructed in 1982 was meant to last for 20 years, but had been in use for 35 years without major repairs and maintenance.


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