President Muhammadu Buhari[/caption]
Considering the danger lurking within the Akanu Ibiam Airport terminal in Enugu State, the Federal Government has finally chose to shut down the airport until further notice starting from August 24, 2019. More than a few circumstances had concluded in the planned closure which was first hinted in May this year. It was discovered that the closure will affect Ethiopia Airlines and Air Peace.
The closure was disclosed by Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, on Saturday, August 17, 2019. The announcement came more than 2 months following the immediate past Minister of State of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in May 2019, who addressed the problems surrounding the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
While the Government said the closure is to deal with the existing security and safety concerns to airline flight operations, Sirika, in May, said the several things pose a threat to flights and passengers.
Sirika said the Airport has a bad runway and landing aids.
Another issue about the airport was the presence of a market nearby which attracts birds. The birds constantly collided with aeroplanes,
The state radio mast was wrongly positioned and was directly facing the runway.
The closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport will impact the operation of some airline companies. The flight operation of Ethiopia Airlines and Air Peace are expected to be disrupted by the closure. This includes the weekly Ethiopian Airlines’ 3 to 4 landings into the city.
On the other hand, Arik suspended flight operations to the airport a few months ago.
Speaking on the closure, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said Air Peace was in encouragement of the decision, adding that FG should help improve the night landing infrastructure of the airport in order to transform it into a 24-hour flight operations airport
“For the avoidance of doubt, Air Peace is fully and totally in support of this decision. Though the decision will affect the travelling public and, of course, the airline, we place the safety of the flying public, our crew and equipment above any commercial benefits.
“The government should go all out to put everything in place, within the period of the closure, that would make the airport rank among the best international airports in the country.”