Nigeria’s Abuja Airport reopens next week, says government spokesman

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be reopened next week after a six-week closure to allow for repair works on the runway.

The head of the federal government’s digital communications team, Tolu Ogunlesi, confirmed that major works on the runway had been completed as at 12 April.

The decision to close the airport was largely due to the bad conditions of its sole runway. An $18 million contract was awarded for the repairs to the construction firm Julius Berger.

The airport will officially be reopened on Wednesday 19 April to air traffic. He also disclosed that authorities had taken advantage of the closure to upgrade some facilities, especially in the main domestic departure terminals.

Repair work being carried out at the Abuja Airport on 7 April / Photo: NAN

When Abuja reopens next week, there’ll be a 2nd Departure Terminal for domestic passengers (in the Arik/Air Peace wing), Ogunlesi reveals.

Kaduna airport served as the main international airport for the Nigerian capital city after the closure of the Abuja Airport on 8 March.

Runway repairs at the Abuja Airport are expected to last a further 18 weeks after it reopens, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced on 28 March.

The Kaduna airport is located about 160 km north of the capital. The government made arrangement for free bus and train services for passengers whose flights took them to Kaduna and had to commute to Abuja.

Passengers and some airlines complained about the negative effects of using Kaduna, aside its effect on their business schedules, the state is also known for its notoriety with regards to kidnapping. Also, killer Fulani herdsmen also operate in the area and they have been blamed for several massacres of villagers in the southern part of Kaduna State.

Abuja airport handled an estimated 5,000 domestic flights in December 2016 alone, making it the second busiest airport in the country.

Kola Tella

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