FG begins construction of second Abuja airport runway – Keyamo

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has said that the Federal government has started the construction of a second runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

This was disclosed by the Minister during the ministerial press briefing to mark President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office, according to The Punch.

Keyamo stressed that the project has faced controversy and delays since the Obasanjo administration.

“Since the Obasanjo era, it was controversy after controversy. Some efforts started during the last administration, so we have to acknowledge that.

“The necessity of a second runway has long been a critical issue for the nation’s capital. The danger of operating a nation’s capital with just one runway… Imagine foreign heads of state coming to Nigeria and there is a problem with the runway. Where are we going to divert them? Are we going to cancel the conference if they are coming for a conference?

“It is inconceivable that a nation’s capital would be operating on one runway and we have been doing it for many years,” he stated.

He revealed that the contractors have begun work on the site and have started building the second runway.

In addition, the minister stated that the ministry will guarantee rigorous adherence to safety regulations and the ongoing improvement of Nigeria’s ratings by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

He mentioned that an important progress in the aviation industry of Nigeria was the recommencement of cargo flights connecting Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

He noted “We have agreed that we are going to resume cargo flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. This has been suspended for a long time.

“Globally, air cargo trade accounts for 35 per cent of the world trade and, according to the International Air Transport Association, attracts about $6tn annually. We were missing within that sector.

“The resumption of these flights is seen as a first step in a broader strategy to enhance Nigeria’s participation in global air cargo trade.”

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