The intended closure of Abuja Airport for repairs on its runways in March by the Federal Government has been described as unnecessary by Airline Operators of Nigeria.
According to them, the repairs for which government plans to close down the airport could be carried out between 6pm to 6am while flights can operate during the day.
The Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) Noggie Meggison, stated this at a stakeholder’s forum in Abuja organised by the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
While he promised that their members would support any decision taken by the federal government, he maintained that such closure as announced was uncalled for.
Buttressing his point, he stated that Gatwick Airport in the UK, similar with Abuja Airport with only one runway, never shut down when repairs were carried out on its runway. “This is despite that Gatwick has more than 10 times the volume of air traffic that the Abuja airport has,” he argued.
Commending the Aviation Minister of State Hadi Sirika, for his forthrightness in piloting the affairs in the sector since assuming office, Meggison urged the government to explore possibility of carrying out the repairs on the runway at night while flights would be operating in the day time.
He insisted that his association was in total support of the rehabilitation of the Abuja airport runway which according to him has become a safety concern.
The federal government has slated six weeks beginning from March 8, to close the airport in order to carry out repair works on its only runway.
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