Abuja airport runway ready ahead of deadline – FAAN MD

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Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has reassured that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, runway would be ready by April 17, two days ahead of the deadline.

FAA Managing Director,Saleh Dunoma gave the assurance in a statement signed by the media consultant to the Minister of State for Aviation, Ariyo Akinfenwa in Lagos on Sunday.

“We will be ready by April 17 but we are leaving the remaining two days for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). We have written to them and they will come by today (Sunday) to do the preliminary inspection,” he said.

He, however, stated that the runway needs to be assessed by the NCAA to ascertain its readiness.

“They have to certify the airport okay for usage because the constructionthat what we have done is in accordance with their standards. If there is any observation as a result of the inspection, we will now make sure we carry out corrections,” he said.

He assured that with the level of work done of the runway, the April 19 deadline for the reopening of the airport is feasible and no longer in doubt.

“All the critical items of work are 100 per cent except may be two items; which of course are the markings and the cleaning. Asphalt work is 100 per cent, markings have reached almost 70 per cent and the airfield lighting system has reached 80 percent,” he said.

Dunoma said the airport authority seized the closure window to address other Airport Excellence in Safety (APEX) related items.

“We are now leveling 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,” he said.

The FAAN boss further explained that the newly constructed runway does not need calibration because the previous Navigational Aids were not tampered with.

“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 come for calibration, the appropriate authority will calibrate the Instrument Landing System (ILS),” he said.

Dunoma also disclosed that the terminal building is also ready for flight operations.

It will be recalled that The Abuja airport was shut on March 8 for six weeks to allow for the rebuild of 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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