One month after the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu was closed by the federal government; the rehabilitation of the runway at the airport has not started. FAAN had on August 24 announced the closure of the airport, which is the only international airport in the Southeast region, for the reconstruction of the runway —with the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika promising works would be completed by December.
However, in a new development, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, on Thursday, confirmed that the rehabilitation of the runway had yet to start. Yakubu said the airport was closed due to safety concerns regarding its operations.
“Work has yet to begin on the runway. But it will soon; once the processes are concluded,” she said. Following the closure of the airport, international flights run by Ethiopian Airlines have been diverted to Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers. Similarly, domestic flights were diverted to Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Port Harcourt Airport and the Asaba Airport in Delta.
In September 2018, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was reported as being underutilized, closing by 6 pm daily owing largely to the absence of airfield lighting and approach light. The report which emerged when a team of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) inspected the airport disclosed that, this has stymied the capacity of the airport to generate revenue for the federal government unlike other major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt. Sahara Reporters
Pix: Enugu International Airport