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Abuja Airport Closure ‘We have to shut airport down,’ Aviation Minister says

The Federal Government plans to shut down the airport for six weeks in order to repair the runway.

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The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.

 

(nanta)

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has told the Senate that there’s no going back on plans to close the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.

The Federal Government plans to shut down the airport for six weeks in order to repair the runway.

However, the Senate, on Tuesday, January 10, expressed its reservations about the proposed closure and summoned Sirika and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to appear before it.

“The entire architecture of the runway from bottom to top has collapsed. It is totally unsafe to continue to use the runway. The action we have taken is the best, right and in the interest of Nigerians,” Sirika told the Senate on Thursday, January 12.

“We will provide train service, buses and helicopter to be paid by government to passengers.

“The other options are (1) to close the airport by 12 midnight and open it by 6.am (2), divide the runway into parts. But in our opinion all these options will not work. We have to do the right thing.

“As far as we are concerned, the runway has failed and the best option is to close it for six weeks. I'm an Aviator and I know what it takes to close an airport,” he added.

Sirika also said that more security personnel and road safety officials would be deployed to the Kaduna - Abuja road while helicopters would be used for aerial patrols by the police.

ALSO READFG assures Kaduna Airport users of adequate protection

The government plans to divert flights to the Kaduna airport while the Abuja airport is shut and then convey passengers to Abuja by road.

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