Abuja airport closure: Jonathan orders commencement of second runway construction

Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport

The Abuja airport was closed from Saturday night to Sunday morning to allow for repairs on the only runway.

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President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, and the Cordinating Minster of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, meet to ensure that the second runway project for the Abuja airport commences next year.

The President was speaking while declaring open the World Pension Summit, Africa Special, at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The Abuja airport was closed from Saturday night to Sunday morning to allow for repairs on the only runway.

Mr. Jonathan apologised to guests who arrived at the weekend for the summit and had to land at other airports because of the temporary closure of the Abuja airport.

“Let me express our own concerns about some of you who came in to Abuja over the weekend,” the president said. “I think the Cordinating Minister of the Economy, Minister of FCT and ministers Aviation must meet and the Abuja Second runway must commence next year.”

The Nigerian aviation authority, FAAN, had explained that the closure was to allow repair of pot holes on the runway.

Only last year, the Abuja airport was shut for about 18 hours after a Saudi B747 cargo aircraft veered off the runway while landing and ran into the maintenance area. This incident had elicited calls for the construction of a second runway for the Abuja airport, Nigeria’s second busiest, in order to forestall a recurrence.

According to statistics from the FAAN, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, is the nation’s second busiest after the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.


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