By Kasim Sumaina
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has reiterated the desire of the ministry to reopen the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, for international flight operations as the continued suspension of international flights to and from the airport has been denying the ministry and its agencies a lot of revenue.
Sirika stated this in Abuja when he received the Governor of Kano State, Mr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, paid him a courtesy visit yesterday.
He noted that it does not make economic sense for government to spend so much money, as it has done on the airport, and leave it inoperative with the attendant degeneration on infrastructure, redundancy amongst operational staff, revenue losses and hardship to travellers, amongst others.
The minister told the delegation, which included some members of the Kano State House of Assembly, representatives of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and members of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, that the decision to suspend international flights to and from the airport, like the ones in Enugu and Port Harcourt, were for health and security reasons.
He acknowledged the hardship to the users of the airport, passengers and service providers alike and promised that all that was necessary for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport would be fast-tracked to ensure that it would resume sooner than later.
He, however, challenged Kano indigenes to create activities that would make the airport more viable through increased passenger traffic.
Similarly, Kano State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, had told the minister that he was in the ministry for two reasons, first to show appreciation to the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for the completion of the International wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, and secondly, to appeal for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport.
According to him, “the Kano State Government has put in place all that was necessary to make the state healthy for flights, including mobilisation of the populace for the COVID-19 vaccinations.”