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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says ongoing rehabilitation work on the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA),Abuja, is 99 per cent completed.
The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman, stated this yesterday while undertaking an inspection of the facility alongside officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“Today, NCAA along with the airport owner, FAAN, conducted an inspection. We were able to see that the job has been done well up to at least 99 per cent completion. We believe the remaining work wll be completed on or before the official opening date,” Usman added.
Usman who heads Nigeria’s civil aviation regulatory agency was also on an audit of the facility to ascertain the standards that could permit its reopening for flight operations. According to him, the NCAA team noticed some minor flaws during the Abuja airport inspection, although those flaws were not too critical as to affect safe flight operations.
“We made some findings as usual with any kind of audit. What we found out were items that are not safety critical and those items will not stop the opening of this airport; they will not affect safety. We are expecting a corrective action plan that will come with timelines that will address those issues. The job has been well done. The technology employed is the latest and we believe Nigerians will be happy,” Usman added.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, however, assured Nigerians that the runway would be ready by today. Dunoma who reacted to the minor flaws found by NCAA hinted that they would be corrected after an agreed action plan and timeline with the NCAA.
Said Dunoma, “The inspection has been conducted by engineers from NCAA, FAAN, the consultant and the contractors. They have made some findings; they are not safety critical. It is normal after huge project like this; such findings will be there. We will work together with the contractor to make sure that all these findings are corrected within the timelines that we are going to agree with NCAA. And of course, after that, the final inspection will be conducted and we believe that we will be given a clean bill of health by the NCAA.”
Recall that the Federal Government had shut down the airport for about six weeks (March 8 – April 19, 2017) to allow contractor, Julius Berger Plc, fix the bad portions of the runway, which had posed great threats to the smooth landing, and take-off of aircraft in the last one year.

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