Enugu Airport: No going back on April deadline –Minister

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Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has reassured aviation stakeholders that the  rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, would be completed before April.

Sirika stated this, yesterday, while inspecting  ongoing repairs of the airport by contractors. He said,  apart from the runway and terminal building, the Instrument Landing Systems ( ILS), Air Field Lighting(AFL), taxi lights and others are part of the deliverables for the airport.

The minister said the government understood the importance of the airport to the South East and would do everything possible to inaugurate it for flight operations before Easter (about April).

“I am very satisfied with the work. We are beating the deadline, that is sacrosanct, we are bringing the runway before Easter. We are confident that the contractor will deliver. They will get the runway in time for Easter festivities.This is not the only job they have handled, they are currently doing some work in Lagos and they have a lot of experience when it comes to runway construction.

“We take this job seriously knowing that the future of this country cannot be mortgaged. If an assignment is given, it should be delivered.  I guarantee you by the time we are done with Enugu, you will be proud of what we have done at the airport. We know the importance of this airport to the South East,” he said.

Sirika said unlike the international airports in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja, the Enugu  Airport rehabilitation was solely funded by the Federal Government and not with loans from China.

“This terminal building is not part of the loans procured from the Chinese, funding for this building is by the Federal Government and we will deliver this terminal building.”

Enugu deputy governor, Cecilia Ezeilo, who was at the airport with the minister, acknowledged its  importance  to the  South East and South South.

“The importance of this airport has come to bear with the closure. The impact is felt by the South East and South South and we will do everything to make sure it is reopened.”

Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Hamisu Yadudu and  Permanent Secretary Ministry of Aviation, Musa Hassan were also on the inspection team.

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