The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, which is undergoing rehabilitation, will be back in operation before Easter, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said.
Mr Sirika gave this assurance on Wednesday while he was inspecting the rehabilitation of the airport’s runway.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria had announced the closure of the airport, which is the only international airport in the South-east region, in order to reconstruct its runway.
December 2019 was earlier set as deadline for the completion of the repairs.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved N10 billion special intervention fund about eight weeks after the airport was closed.
According to a release by the Director, Public Affairs of the ministry, James Odaudu, the minister was joined on the inspection by the Enugu State Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo; Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji; the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Musa Hassan; the Managing Director of FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu, and others.
The minister, while interacting with reporters after the inspection, expressed satisfaction with the extent of work done so far.
“I am very satisfied with the level of work done. According to the programme of work approved and established by us, we are beating the deadline. We will deliver the runway before Easter,” he reportedly said.
He promised that the airport “will have all the modern facilities and equipment to enhance safe flight operations”.
“The runway when completed will have other equipment such as the instrument landing system, airfield lighting, taxiway lighting and every single equipment and system that will enhance safe flight operations,” Mr Sirika said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Ezeilo stressed the importance of the airport to the people of the South-east and beyond.
She said that the state government remains committed to the timely completion of the project.