FEDERAL government has given assurances to provide adequate security for passengers who will be using the Kaduna Airport for the period that Abuja Airport will be closed for repairs.
Minister of state, Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika gave the promise today when the Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson paid a visit to his office to clarify issues surrounding the proposed closure of Abuja Airport for six weeks in February through March, 2017.
Responding to the concern of the Deputy British High Commissioner, Sirika said the closure was to let the badly damaged airport runway be re-constructed.
He said that the runway would still be put to use under the six months of reconstruction, but the six-week closure in February through March was to take advantage of the dry season to reconstruct the mid-section of the runway.
The minister assured the Deputy British High Commissioner that the Government has put in place an adequate arrangement to provide buses to convey passengers to Abuja or to Train station depending on the choice of the passenger involved.
He added that a robust security arrangement involving the police, Civil Defence, Immigrations and Customs has been made to escort passengers from Kaduna to Abuja during the period Kaduna Airport will be used as alternative.
Emphasizing on security and need for the closure of the airport, the minister said; ‘’I would rather lose five billion dollars than to lose one person’’.
Reacting to the Deputy British High Commissioner on the involvement of the Airline Operators, the minister said all the stakeholders were involved.
Sirika further assured the Deputy British Commissioner of maximum comfort during the period of re-construction, while he appreciated the Deputy High Commissioner’s visit and the relationship between Nigeria and the Government of United Kingdom.
The Deputy British High Commissioner Ms Thompson had earlier expressed fear on passengers’ safety within and from Kaduna to Abuja during the period Abuja Airport will be closed for re-construction.
She also expressed the hope that adequate information would be made available to airliners and passengers for necessary adjustment to their plans and operations