IN the next few days, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) may close the 2.7 kilometre 18L/ 36R domestic runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport ( MMA) to enable it effect installation of the Runway Airfield lighting which has been absent since the airport’s runway was rehabilitated in 2008.

Inside sources say the Runway may be closed totally from Thursday, July 7, 2022 and  work will commence without disruptions as normal operations will continue on Runway 18R/36L, the International runway.

The airport managers in a letter signed by Ag. Regional General Manager (S/W) Airport Manager, Arewa Olatokunbo obtained by our correspondent invited airline operators to an emergency meeting today July 5th, 2022 to determine the pros and cons the closure would have.

The letter titled Proposed Plan for the Closure of runway 18L/36R read in part,” You are invited to an emergency meeting to discuss the closure of Runway 18L/36R for the job completion of the Runway Airfield lighting installation. Read also: Has time finally come for Runway 18L/36R to be lit up after 14 years?

The insider told NigerianFLIGHTDECK that major works in installation of approach lights, Runway Lights (Threshold and Centre, edge light and others will be installed so that runway 18L/36R returns to full 24/7 operations after 10 years of abandonment.

Another stakeholder mused that discussions will centre around contingency for access to operations. He stressed that FAAN is trying to fix aged problems to ensure better operations and airlines were being called to work out the chinks, as every operation of this sort may lead to some discomfort.

Recall, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in March 2022 succeeded in getting another N3,523,592,079bn approval for safety-critical projects of the Ministry of Aviation as the Federal Executive Council, FEC, approved the sum of N3,523,592,079bn for two different major projects on facilitation and airfield lighting.

It was reported that of the total amount approved, the sum, N2,329,961,099.60 was for the supply and installation of airfield ground lighting for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and also the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Read Also: How lack of AFL on 18L, 80% of Nigerian airports affects operations, cause cancellations-UNA Chairman

Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu had recently hinted that a solution was in sight as agreements have been reached in principle but the delay was due to the fact that there is an existing contract that has been protracted for years now and government cannot approve a new project when there is an existing one on the same facility.

He said,” …18Left has been delayed because of a current contract that has been for many years and finally, the honourable minister has graciously accepted to resolve that issue that has been protracted and he has agreed to grant us permission or approval to quickly procure a new lighting system. You know FAAN is a government agency; we cannot work and procure a new project when there is an existing one on the same facility. So many things you see that are delayed, are not delayed because of negligence or lack of attention, it’s because you have to follow due process.



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