By Chinedu Eze
Abuja Airport has reopened after it was temporarily closed when a plane overshot the runway on Wednesday.
Passengers billed for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were stranded on Thursday morning due to the closure of the airport.
The airport was closed temporarily on Wednesday night when a private jet, Skybird’s Gulfstream with registration number, 5N-BOD, overshot the runway.
The incident happened about 8:00 pm on Wednesday night so workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) spent time on Thursday morning to examine the runway before re-opening it, but cordoned off about 300 meters of the end of the runway where the incident happened.
The incident led to delay of flights from different parts of the country to the Federal Capital Territory, as passengers billed for early morning flights from Lagos to Abuja and from other parts of the country had to be delayed by about two hours.
The delay affected the first flights of Azman, Medview Airline and Air Peace to Abuja from Lagos, as their passengers had to wait until signal was received from FAAN that the airport had been re-opened.
FAAN in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said, “Following the partial closure of Runway 22, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 2200 (10:00 pm) hours yesterday, September 12, 2018 due to an incident involving a Gulfstream 4 aircraft being operated by Skybird that overshot the Runway while landing and consequently got stuck on the Runway End Safety Area (RESA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has now reopened the runway to take arrivals and departures, subject to a reduced threshold of 3000 metres.”
The agency assured airlines and passengers that the airport was safe for normal operations.
It is expected that officials of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) would examine the aircraft before it would be removed from the site of the incident.
Skybird, a business jet operator, is linked to the former governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff.