Poor construction facilities have been blamed as the reason behind the closure of the Enugu Airport. This was revealed by the Chairman of the Federal House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji.
Nnaji disclosed that the contractor responsible for the poor structure would be brought before the Committee for questioning, noting that the contractor would not go free for performing a shoddy job at the airport.
After inspecting the facility, Nnaji said it should have lasted 30 years and not six years after its completion.
“By my investigation, a standard runway should have a life span of thirty years. So if that runway could collapse under six years, some people have to give us explanations.”
While promising to investigate the matter, Nnaji asked the Federal Government to give more grants to the Enugu State Government to enable it to build more roads that will serve the mass influx of people trying to access the city. He also stated that the closure of the airport would compound security challenges confronting the South East Zone which has proven to be a difficult situation for security agencies.
South East Governors react: In a related development, the governors representing the South East have written to the Federal Government to protest the early closure of the Enugu Airport without any adequate palliative measure put in place.
A Nairametrics report cited safety and security concerns as reasons why Sirika, the immediate past Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika advocated for the closure of the airport. Some of the reasons are linked to bad runway and landing aids, the constant collision of birds with airplanes, and the siting of state radio directly across the runway.
The ripple effect: The closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport will affect 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’ three to four flights to the city.