Thursday, January 5, 2017 1:23 pm
Over 300 policemen may be deployed to about 160 kilometre Kaduna- Abuja expressway for security of passengers during the proposed closure of Nnamadi Azikwe International Airport to traffic.
Gambo Hemlet who represented the Kaduna State government revealed this during a stakeholders meeting of aviation sector on the management of the scheduled shut down of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for repairs.
The Airport, the only access to the Nigerian capital city through the air is scheduled to be closed to traffic for six weeks starting from 8 of March 2017 during which the runway will be resurfaced.
There have been apprehensions on the proposed shut down of the facility, especially with the Federal Government’s plan to divert air traffic to Kaduna, a distance of over 150 kilometres to the capital city from where passengers will be transported to Abuja.
There are anxieties that the much smaller Kaduna airport may not be able to handle the traffic while the expressway from the Northern city to Abuja is very notorious for kidnapping and other crimes.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation tried to address the various concerns of stakeholders at the meeting. On security, Hemlet said 20 policemen will be deployed every 11 kilometers of the Kaduna- Abuja road to ensure security of passengers who will be transported through the road to the capital city.
He assured that the Kaduna State government will cooperate with the Federal Government to make the experience a comfortable one for passengers.
While also reacting to concerns of passengers, the Minister of Aviation said passengers will have to pay more in term air fares since they will be transported to Abuja.
He added that the repair of the airport runway was scheduled for March because the weather will be favorable at that time.
He also said the materials to be used for the repairs will be imported.
The Minister however assured that the contractor that will handle the repair will work day and night to ensure conclusion of work on schedule.
He also assured representatives of the British embassy that the Kaduna Airport has been handling international flights.