Abuja airport second runway national priority –FG

…Insists airport managers’ll to be held liable henceforth

 The Federal Government has said the construction of the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, is on national priority list.This is even as it disclosed that ‎the completion of the total radar coverage of Nigeria’s airspace is attracting more international airlines ‎to come to Nigeria with the latest being Emirates Airline now flying from Abuja.The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation, Cpt. Shehu Iyal, at a news conference in his office inside the Presidential Villa, said placing the second runway on a priority list was a presidential directive to the relevant ministers on the project.

Iyal said, “the President has directed that the Abuja second runaway project be revisited and placed on national priority list. The construction is very soon. When the President gives an order, it has to be immediate.

“The President has approved and directed the second runway project be immediately revisited and it is being revisited and I am proud to inform you that I am part of the members of that committee and it is going to be treated as priority. There will be a second runway in Abuja for safety, for security, for efficiency,” he said.

Speaking on the advantage of Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, Iyal said it has the capacity to see and capture and record all aircraft flying the nation’s airspace. He said, “the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria was completed under President Jonathan. This is another big plus for the country. We have the capability of seeing and capturing all airplanes flying in Nigerian airspace. The movement can be recorded for a while, it can be played back.”

He said in the last six years, the aviation industry under President Jonathan has recorded positive achievements, placing the country at par with advanced countries, adding that while Nigeria attained Category 1 in 2010 and retained it again this year, India has been downgraded, saying it was an achievement Nigerians should be proud of.

The presidential aide on aviation added that the sector had achieved a status and Nigerians should be able to beat their chest and commend the government team that made it happen. He argued that some of the problems still subsisting in the sector such as flight delay were universal and would be resolved with time.

Iyal also said the nation’s containment of the Ebola Virus Disease, especially the screening at airports, has attracted the attention of countries like the United Kingdom and United States, who are now ready to adopt Nigeria’s method.

Iyal also said the remodelling of airports has seen increase in new airlines coming to Nigeria’s airspace, adding that government’s granting of waiver of Custom duties on air planes and spare parts for airline operators has also boosted the sector.

He also said another thing Nigerians should be proud of is the fact that a Nigerian is the first African to be appointed head of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council.

He said the restructuring of the sector has seen new airports in Akwa Ibom, Dutse, Asaba, Bauchi, among others, with a lot of firefighting equipment already on ground at the various airports.

Iyal re-echoed the Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka’s directives‎ that henceforth  airport managers would be held responsible for happenings in their airports, adding that  the construction of agro and cargo terminals were now at advanced stage.


Source : SunOnline

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