Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Ethiopian Airlines becomes the first to land at the rehabilitated Abuja airport

An Ethiopian Airline aircraft has landed in the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja.
The airplane landed at some minutes past 12pm.

The traffic and sales manager of the airline, Firiehiwot Mekonnen had earlier said the aircraft will be the first to land in Abuja.

The Abuja airport was closed on March 8 for six weeks to enable rehabilitation of its 3.6 kilometres runway to be carried out.

Flight activities were consequently diverted to Kaduna International Airport during the period.

Ethiopian Airlines was the only foreign airline that made use of the Kaduna airport during the period.

The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Usman Muktar, had earlier said the airport runway is ready for operation and can be opened on Wednesday.

Muktar stated this while speaking with newsmen during an inspection of the airport’s runway on Monday in Abuja.

Muktar disclosed that NCAA had concluded the second phase of inspection as follow-up to the recommendations made to the contractors to correct some areas of concern earlier identified by a team of experts.

According to him, they inspected yesterday, made some observations but the findings that were found were not safety critical and today it is found that they have been rectified.
“We have carried out the inspection and we have confirmed that the job has been done quite satisfactorily in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard and recommended practices.
So, the airport, the runway is very ready to accept flight operations safely.
By this, we are declaring that the airport and its runway are quite operational at the time that has been determined as the official opening of this airport,” he declared.
Muktar said that the agency had already issued “Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)’’ to all aviators worldwide that the airport was ready for reopening on Wednesday as scheduled.

On the calibration of the airport, he said that nothing had been tampered with as far as the instrument landing system was concerned to warrant recalibration.

According to him, calibrations are normally scheduled and very soon this airport will also be calibrated along with others.

“It will be normal routine calibration which will be applicable to other airports that are due for recalibration,” he said.

 The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika had in a tweet on Sunday afternoon said that the airport will be ready for use on Monday.

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