The Minister of State on Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has disclosed that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway repairs is 57 per cent completed and the April 19 reopening date is sacrosanct.
Sirika, while revealing the development during media tour led by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday at the airport, said that project was being executed by the contractor in accordance with laid down programme of work, reiterating that there would be no need for time extension.
The minister added that contractor has been fully mobilized and he has done as much as 57 per cent of the work, which is good and it shows development is on course.
“It shows that we are on time and it means that we are doing what we are supposed to do to ensure that the runway is opened April 19. As you could see, this is brand new asphalt being laid and it is finished and we have also gone far into third part of the runway.
“If you go over there you will also see that we have started middle light of the runway, so we are doing the work simultaneously. We have even started lightening with the cutting and channels for wires and we will continue so that we complete and achieve target given.
“The central light up installation commenced on Tuesday and now they have gone far and as we progress, we will continue towards the runway 022,” he explained.
Sirika said further that first segment which is 1.2 kilometers has been completed, while asphalt was being laid on second segment of 2.4 kilometers, adding that the runway was being rebuilt with new and improved technology known as the Glass Fibre Grid to give it strength and prevent it from cracking.
According to the minister, this is the first time that a Nigerian runway is being treated with such material and the material is 50 toners to cover entire runway.
“We are on course and I am glad to say so because this airport will be reopened with the terminal building wearing a new look. The closure of this airport also means that we will improve on the terminal to make it more robust and create a seamless flow of international and local passengers.
“The airport will be more compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard and best practices and will be more efficient at the time it is going to be reopened,” he expressed.
The minister also disclosed that about 50 international flights had been operated out of Kaduna airport with about 4,000 international passengers within three weeks.
He said about 73,000 domestic passengers had been moved with about 1,119 aircraft movements for domestic.
Meanwhile, Mohammed, said essence of the tour was to enable media have firsthand information on the level of work on runway.
He added that it was to reassure public that six weeks closure of the airport would not be extended.
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