By Sade Willaims
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has assured that Kaduna Airport is over 90 percent ready for flight diversion from Abuja airport.
Speaking to newsmen, the Airport Manager, Kaduna International Airport, Hajiya Amina Ozi-Salami, said that the airport is ready to handle the expected traffic upsurge that would result from the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Ozi-Salami stated this while answering questions from aviation correspondents on site inspection at the airport.
According to her, the runway is in perfect condition while the capacity of the airport had been enhanced to accommodate any type of aircraft.
She disclosed that the lightning of the runway would be completed during the week as well as enhancing the needed manpower to meet the operational needs during the six weeks period.
She said that the fire and safety equipment as well as the navigational equipment of the airport were being upgraded in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard.
“We are going to also boost the manpower by deploying staff from Abuja to Kaduna and we are bringing in 40 fire and safety staff and 57 security staff.
“The management has been making effort to stop villagers around the airport from tresspassing and the state government has started working on the vandalised portion of the perimeter fencing.
“With the synergy among the security agencies, the issue of security has been taken care of,” she said.
Also speaking in an interview, Mr Kazeem Keji, the project engineer to the contractor handling the new terminal building project at Kaduna International Airport, Dari Investment Limited, disclosed that the project was 92 per cent completed and will be ready by the end of February.
Keji said that the target of the contractor was to complete the project before the end of February, adding that the deadline for the completion is February. 28.
He explained that the major component of the project had been completed; the fittings, lightings and the ceiling would be fixed during the week.
“We are not looking at the March 8 date, our deadline for completion is February ending and we are going to finish it. We have done the major part of the project, it is only the fittings that we are expecting to be delivered after which the ceiling will be fixed,”
At the fire tender, Alhaji Abubakar Danladi, Head, Fire and Safety, said that three fire tenders were functional, while others were being repaired stressing that the authority would also provided additional new ones to help them to attain “Category 9”.
According to him, they were expecting more support from Abuja with additional manpower.
The Air Traffic Controller on duty, Mr Jatau Nehemiah, disclosed that communication equipment and other navigational aids were being deployed for effective operation during the period.
Nehemiah said that more equipment were also being installed, assuring that the facilities on ground were adequately enough to cater for all kinds of aircraft.
The Federal Government had earlier announced its decision to shut Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the repair of the failed portion of its runway from March 8.
It had also announced the diversion of all Abuja bound flights during the period to Kaduna airport.