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Abuja Airport ready to resume operation

Monday, 17 April 2017
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja


The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja is now ready to resume operations and the planned date, April 19, is a reality.

Critical facilities have been put in place in the rehabilitation of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which dilapidated state prompted the closure of the airport six weeks ago and now it is ready to receive flights.

The Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma while carrying last inspection of the facility, assured that the runway would be ready by April 17 two days before the reopening date of the runway for air traffic.

“We will be ready by Monday the April 17 but we are leaving the remaining two days for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),  because they have to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards. If they do 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 April 19 Dunoma said, “No doubt about that, we will open it as scheduled. Just as I have said, we have been working with 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 100 percent except may be two items, which of course is the markings and the cleaning. Other critical item which is not works but the inspection by NCAA officials 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 100 percent, markings have reached almost 70 percent, the airfield lighting system has reached 80 percent,” Dunoma said at the weekend.

“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 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 added.

Dunoma also explained that the work did not affect navigational aids, but the airfield lighting was removed and replaced.

“We have not tampered with the Navaids. 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).”

Dunoma said FAAN has written to NCAA requesting the regulatory authority to inspect and certify the runway and approve it for operation.

“We have written to them and they will come by 10 a.m. today (April 16, 2017) 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,” Dunoma said, adding that FAAN used the opportunity of the closure to also carry out little repairs on the terminal building.

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