Buhari spurs aviation infrastructure


President Muhammadu Buhari has achieved milestones in the provision of airport infrastructure, having delivered two world class terminals in Abuja and Port Harcourt in 2018.

Mr Saleh Dunoma, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN, said that three others airports in Kano, Lagos and Enugu would be completed this year.

“Within the last four years, federal government embarked on the construction of four new international terminals and two of them were commissioned last years.

The airports include the Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja terminal.

“These terminals are up and running and they are functional. This has improved a lot in terms of capacity of handling aircraft and passengers in these two airports.

“It has also improved our safety because before this time, we were operating under a very congestive situation and this translates to discomfort and a lot of safety issues for passengers.

“In these two airports now we don’t have such issues. We have enough space which translates into easy facilitation of passengers, it also translates into passenger comfort.

“It has also improved the turnaround time for airlines that operate into these two new airports.

“Other two terminals or three are under construction and we hope to commission them before the end of the year.

“One is Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport which has also reached an advanced stage of completion.

“In fact, as we speak we are working on the apron. Apron is where we park aircraft and aircraft maneuver around that place to board passengers or to drop passengers.

“As soon as that is done we move in there and add the few that we need to add to make it operational.”

Dunoma explained that the new terminal project in Lagos airport was faced with legal issues which according to him has delayed its completion because of the complete change of location.

He however disclosed that the project was also at advance stage of completion, adding that installations and finishing within the building as well as the apron and other external works were ongoing.

According to him, there is also an ongoing terminal project at Enugu airport which has reached advanced stage of completion.

“So before the end of the year, we believe that three new terminals will be added and once that is done it will be a great achievement for this administration to have completed these projects,” he said.

FAAN boss said that apart from the terminal building projects, the government was able carry out rehabilitation of other critical infrastructures in the airport.

“Recall that two years ago, we were able to work on the runway in Abuja which has been giving us headaches.

“For 11 years, we have been battling with the runway in Abuja because Abuja is a single runway airport and we have closed the airport severally over the period of 11 years because of maintenance.

“This runway has deteriorated so much that operation in to the airport was becoming very unsafe until this government came into power and they took the bull by the horn.

“We told the government that we cannot continue to close and do patch work because patch work, yes, is good because it will give you the infrastructure to use but it will not be the right quality when it became deteriorated.

“Because, when you continue to patch the runway it is like patching road and that is a great discomfort to passengers and pilots when they land or take off.

“So government took the bull by the horn and agreed with FAAN and closed the airport, we worked on it for six weeks, day and night, and we were able to completely rehabilitate the runway and we did it within record time.

“This is a great achievement for this administration because for 11 years we have been battling with the runway.

“There are some other repairs that we did on our infrastructure in Lagos, in Enugu, in Port Harcourt, in Maiduguri, in Kano on the runways and all this was achieved during this administration.”

Dunoma said that the phase two of the projects which is the construction of multi-level car parks in Lagos, and Abuja airports were ongoing to ease traffic flow.

He said that the projects were expected to be completed within the years also.