It has taken forty-one days to make major repairs on the runway at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport(NNIA), Abuja. The Federal Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) managing Director: Saleh Dunoma announced that the airport will finally be re-opened today 17th April 2017.
He also stated that everything about the Abuja Airport runway has been ready and has only been awaiting the certification of the aerodrome by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in order to ascertain compliance with operational standards.
He said, that the certification will be completed on Tuesday, a day before the airport runway will re-open for commercial flights on Wednesday 19th April. Dunoma told reporters that the two-day certification window will to allow NCAA to make corrections and on any area in line with civil aviation requirements.
He stated: As regards the terminal building: “We are improving on all the services there and repairing all the items that are bad. It will be ready by Monday April 17, 2017 . Most of the items there have been completed. We are just trying to clean up.”
But, we are leaving the remaining two days for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This is because the NCAA has to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards. 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.
“After the NCAA does 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.”
“Asphalt work is hundred per cent complete; markings have reached almost seventy per cent; and the airfield lighting system has attained eighty per cent completion.”
“He said that FAAN has carried out other minor repairs at Abuja Airport, taking advantage of the closure as the perfect timing. 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 levelling 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.”
Concerning the calibration of Navigational Aids, he said: “We have not tampered with the Navids. 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).”
The Abuja airport was shut down on March 8 2017 for about six weeks to enable Julius Berger rebuild 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.