The Federal Government has proposed to spend N15 billion for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Also, N10 billion is expected to be spent on Katsina Airport to set up aircraft and machine maintenance station. Both expenditure in Abuja and Katsina airports are components in the 2021 fiscal year.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, stated this at the weekend, after defending the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Aviation before the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Adeyemi, who said that he was optimistic that government would expend the N15 billion to provide the runway for the safety of passengers and aircraft, noted that the second runway would check wastage of aviation fuel.
The lawmaker also said that when provided, the runway would save time spent by pilots in trying to land at the airport of its designation without necessarily looking for the nearest airport to land because of unavailability of space in the airport of its designation.
“In my budget presentation, I noted that we need a second runway in Abuja which will save us from some of the occasions when aircraft would have to be hovering and maybe some of them running out of fuel because some of them tried to go to a nearby airport to land.
“So, when you have a second runway, you are guaranteeing the safety of passengers and the aircraft and you are equally minimizing cost because when plane don’t hover around, you can adequately calculate the quantity of gas that is required.
“So it is a good thing to have a second runway. It is what ought to have been done about 10 years ago by previous administrations. We have that as one major aspect of it.
“We equally have proposal for N15 billion for the second way and we have another N10 billion for Katsina Airport, where we intend to set up aircraft and machine maintenance station,” he noted.