The federal government is to rehabilitate Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport runway, Abuja, with about N1 billion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that a reliable source from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) disclosed this to aviation correspondents in Lagos yesterday.
The runway had been in bad state due to overuse and had been a source of concern to pilots and air traffic controllers.
The source said the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had set up a committee to oversee the work.
“Government is taking urgent effort to start the rehabilitation of the runway at the Abuja airport and government has provided funds for the work, which could start anytime from now.
“The committee is expected to schedule the maintenance dates, which are expected to run from days to weeks.
“It is expected to also decide whether the runway would be closed daily or some hours of the day so that work could start on the facility,” the source added.
According to the source, Sirika had designated Kaduna airport as alternative to Abuja so that flights would be diverted to Kaduna while work is ongoing at the nation’s second busiest airport.
The source further disclosed that the project had been advertised and Gilmore, Julius Berger and PW had placed bids for the project.
The source said: “After the committee’s final presentation to the Minister, he will be expected to discuss with the National Security Adviser (NSA) to agree on the date work would start on the runway.
“The Abuja airport will be certified by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The process for certification will end by March 2017.
“The airport has been chosen as the pilot for the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s No Country Left Behind campaign.”
The Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, also confirmed the rehabilitation plan for the Abuja airport.
She noted that all efforts were being made to ensure the runway was restored to international standard.