By Adelola Amihere
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, will be reopened for operations on August 30th, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said.
Recall that Federal Government had ordered the closure of the runway at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu effective midnight of August 24, 2019 for major repairs and works on the airfield.
Some of the reasons given for the closure included the airport’s bad runway and landing aids, and the presence of a market nearby which attracts birds and had led to constant bird strikes on aircraft.
Also, the state radio mast was wrongly placed and was directly facing the runway.
Speaking during an inspection visit to the airport Tuesday, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated that the completion of the dilapidated runway was stalled as a result of the pandemic which caused the workers to leave.
He said: “We are back on site, we have made tremendous amount of progress. We are about 90 to 95 percent to completing this job. However, the final wearing cost is where we are on the runway where we could see the perimeter fence and road is going on other works including AV lighting has been delivered for day and night landing.
“The season now is raining season and it’s a monster in procurement of this nature but the contractor is doing very well and also the consultant and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria who is the client. I am very happy with the progress of work and I am very confident that this procurement will be delivered on the 30th of August 2020
“This is of course with due consideration to the weather – rainy day in day out but with the help of god, we will deliver this procurement on the 30th of August 2020. We will be inviting you either on the 30th or 31st to open this runway for use with most of the associated works”.
Sirika commended the commitment of the South Eastern governors especially the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi who he said showed deep commitment to seeing the completion of the rehabilitation works.
“I wish to thank the governors of the Eastern part of the country the five of them especially my friend, colleague and brother, His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwanyi who has always been here and shown commitment and done everything he said will do, he removed the market for us, removed the mast, demolished the houses, secured the place for us doing quite a lot for us. We thank him and the support from the south eastern governors under the leadership of governor Umahi”, the Minister stated.