MANAGING Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma has said that everything about the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway will be ready by April 17 (tomorrow), two days before reopening leaving room for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)to embark on certification of the airport in accordance with their standards .
Speaking on Saturday evening, the FAAN boss said that the two days will give them opportunity to make corrections after the certification if any and to ensure the closure of any open item meets the CAA requirement.
Dunoma said, “We will be ready by Monday the April 17 but we are leaving the remaining two days for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), because they have to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards. If they do that, we will bring in the traffic. But if they do not, we have the opportunity of making corrections with the two days we have saved”.
On the reopening of the runway on April 19 Dunoma said, “No doubt about that, we will open it as scheduled. Just as I have said, we have been working with NCAA throughout the period, they have been making corrections. But for formality, we need to check and make sure that all the necessary corrections meet the requirement of the civil aviation authority.”
He said,” All the critical items of work are 100% except may be two items, which of course is the markings and the cleaning. Other critical item which is not works but the inspection by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority who will come and certify that the repairs that had been carried out is satisfactory and give us the go ahead to bring in traffic to Abuja. Asphalt work is 100%, markings have reached almost 70%, the airfield lighting system has reached 80%.”
Responding to when NCAA will carry out their inspection and certify the runway he said, “We have written to them and they will come by 10 a.m. today ( April 16, 2017) to do the preliminary inspection. If there is any observation as a result of the inspection, we will now make sure we carry out corrections.
On the terminal building: “We are improving on all the services there and repairing all the items that are bad. It will be ready by Monday (April 17th). Most of the items there have been completed, we are just trying to clean up”.
He further talked about other minor repairs being carried out at the Abuja Airport using the closure as the perfect timing to ensure they are carried out.
“There is additional work which has nothing to do with this repair but we are seizing the opportunity of the closure of the airport to do. This has to do with the APEX (Airport Excellence in Safety) related items. We are now levelling all the airfield lightings’ locations, all the installations and flash with the ground surface. In case of any skidding, there will not be concrete projection above the ground surface.”
Concerning the calibration of Navigational Aids: “We have not tampered with the Navaids. We just worked on the runway. What we tampered with is the airfield lightings and the airfield lightings are being returned to the same position. The runway does not need calibration. All we need to check is to make sure there is 100 per cent illumination. Calibration is done periodically. When the time come for calibration, the appropriate authority will calibrate the Instrument Landing System (ILS).”