FAAN: Enugu airport project beyond resurfacing

 

Following the recent decision of the Federal Government to carry out major rehabilitation at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has said that the job at the airport is more than just runway resurfacing.

Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, disclosed to Woleshadarenews that the perception held about the airport was not correct as it is not just resurfacing, but also reconstruction and expansion, which are necessary to ensure safety and security of all users.

She said that the airport environment was a dynamic environment, saying as regulators, the agency keeps reviewing safety, security and operational processes and procedures at airports, just as the requirements for meeting up with these standards are also changing.

“As a matter of fact, advancements in technological developments will not even permit an airport waiting for eight years before upgrading.

“This means that any airport operator that wants to remain competitive must continue to upgrade its facility to remain relevant in the scheme of things.”

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She also commended the Federal Government for taking the steps to identify that safety is a serious issue where aviation is concerned, adding that airport operator must block loopholes that will jeopardise that.

 

“This is our solemn promise to our esteemed airport users. We will continue to address all issues that pertain to safety and security of travellers using our network of airports as the issues arises,” she noted.

She also pointed out that although facility requirements changed with time, a standard runway is supposed to stand the test of time as certain conditions can necessitate the need to upgrade.

“Our focus is to ensure that facilities at our airports are standardised and up to date and we will continue to pursue this objective in the overall interest of the aviation industry,” she added.

On his part, Mr Olumide Ohunayo of Aviation Roundtable said safety was paramount and should be considered.

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He eulogised the Federal Government for taking the step to work on the airport, as this is a brave move in empowering the south-east and its environs.

“I think the Federal Government has done well for the N10 billion released. What is now left is for the state to also go further and do some parts leading to the alternate airport, so that those coming in for Christmas can enjoy their trips.”

He lamented that the same airport was opened with fanfare by a former Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah, who even called the former president to commission it.

Invariably, for the runway to have deteriorated in the last five to six years shows that the quality of work done there was not up to standard and whatever funds was released for that project obviously had been poorly used and not the full value of the funds released for the airport.

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He said: “In a country where people are called to answer questions, this is the time FAAN officials, contractors and engineers should say what went wrong and I expected the House of Representatives and the Senate Committee on Aviation to have called all those involved to explain what happened five years ago.

“We cannot keep mourning the past as this is the critical airport for the South East and I am happy Mr President has released the N10 billion for the maintenance. We should avoid the same mistakes of the past. What is needed is not surfacing and resurfacing but a clear reconstruction and that should be the pattern it should follow.”

 

Wole Shadare