The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified airlines, passengers and all other stakeholders that the runway at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu will be closed for major repairs.
FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.
The closure of the airport was coming three months after the immediate past Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the airport would be closed down over the condition of the runway.
Sirika had said that the airport would be degraded for international operations because the runway length is not ideal for such operations.
Yakubu explained that the closure was aimed at resolving the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations.
The general manager said the closure of the runway would take effect by 12am on Aug. 24.
She noted that a date to reopen the runway would be communicated in due course.
Yakubu said FAAN remained committed to its core values of safety, security and comfort of the airport users in the country.
Meanwhile, the management of Air Peace has commended the Federal Government for the decision to close the Enugu International Airport for proper repair and maintenance of the airport’s runway.
The airline’s Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema, who made the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos, noted that the runway had been given stakeholders serious safety concerns.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Air Peace is fully and totally in support of this decision. Though the decision will affect the traveling public.
“However, the airline, place the safety of the flying public, our crew and equipment above any commercial benefits.
“The government should go all out to put everything in place, within the period of the closure, that will make the airport rank among the best international airports in the country.
“We plead with the federal government to make the airport a 24 hours flight operations airport by improving the night landing infrastructure,” he said.
Onyema thanked the federal government for the appointment of Capt. Yadudu as the FAAN’s Managing Director.
He noted that his appointment was a testimony to the government’s resolve to put result-driven persons at the helm of its agencies.
Onyema said the airline was not alone in the thought, adding that since his appointment, airlines had started enjoying the services that would definitely improve standards in the industry.
He appreciated President Mohammadu Buhari for his resolve to attend to the infrastructural decay affecting the industry.