Kaduna airport unsafe, insecure, Nigerian lawmakers say

Kaduna Airport[Photo Credit: NewswireNGR]

The House of Representatives on Thursday condemned the aviation operations at the Kaduna International Airport.

The lawmakers said the airport lacked safety standards for both domestic and international flights.

The condemnation is coming barely a month after the lawmakers passed a resolution supporting the Kaduna Airport to serve as an alternative while repairs are going on at the Abuja airport.

Speaking at the plenary on Thursday, the Chairman, Committee on Media Loan, Aids and Debt Management Adeyinka Ajayi (Osun APC) told the House that safety standards are not being adhered to at the airport.

“God forbid that an aircraft drops from the skies due to our own errors. This is what we should not pray to happen, it can happen to anyone” Mr. Ajayi said.

Mr. Ajayi also said aircraft manoeuvring and parking space is inadequate to accommodate the high number of aircraft now operating at the airport.

He shared his personal experience where he witnessed aviation fuel being discharged from haulage trucks into an aircraft without purifying the fuel.

Also contributing, the Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs Nnenna Ukeje (Imo PDP) noted that the space provided for passengers and parking of aircrafts was inadequate and could lead to accidents.

“The lives of passengers and aircraft are being exposed to danger at the Kaduna airport,” Mrs. Ukeje said.

She said she recalled how she spent several hours after landing at the airport trying to access her luggage.

Mrs. Ukeje added that “The Kaduna airport experiment has obviously failed.”

Another lawmaker, Hassan Saleh (Kano APC), said the airport is a total disappointment, adding that “an awaiting disaster is eminent”.

“Security in the airport is very poor, you can obviously see that security personnel are being overwhelmed by the crowd,” Mr. Hassan said.

The Abuja airport closure is in its third week, according to the original work plan by the Federal Government. The airport will remain closed for six weeks.

Of the foreign airlines that flew from Abuja airport, only Ethiopian airline is currently operating at the Kaduna airport, with others choosing to stay away despite government appeals.

The Abuja airport was closed to allow the repair of its only runway. The government opted to divert flights to Kaduna saying it was the best option despite criticisms from Nigerian engineers, aviation workers and others who argued that the Abuja airport runway could still be used while being repaired.


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