Only one foreign airline has agreed to use the Kaduna International Airport, as the Nigerian government officially announced the closure of the Abuja International Airport on Monday.
National Daily investigation revealed that only Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to use the Kaduna airport as an alternative.
The decision to close the only airport in the federal capital has been criticized by aviation experts, and several international airlines warned they will not operate the Kaduna route.
Meanwhile, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) say the Kaduna International Airport is now set for international operations.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, in an interview with National Daily, said the organisation has installed all safety equipment needed for the operation.
“All the things we need for international operations are on ground. What is important actually is the safety equipment for the landing of the aircraft. We have seen the runway is good, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) has been installed and the terminal building is ready.”
“The contractor has been directed by the Acting President to redouble his effort so that the remaining items of work that are remaining should be completed before the commencement of the international operations in Kaduna.”
Similarly, Mr Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director of NAMA, said that NAMA management had certified the capability of Kaduna Airport, adding that its engineers have done a good job on it.
“As far as this (Kaduna) airport is concerned, NAMA management, we are very satisfied that we have done a good job.”
The government said the Abuja airport will be closed beginning from 12 a.m. Wednesday. The closure will last for six weeks to allow a comprehensive maintenance of the airport runway.