The Federal Government has concluded plans to begin the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The project is expected to be completed within the next 12 months. It had been on the drawing board for more than 12 years and would now commence as this is coming as part of the Federal Government’s infrastructural development.
To this end, government handed the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Limited (CCECC) the task of building the second runway. To quicken work, the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) made available a total of 12,000 hectares of land reserved in the land bank allocated for aviation facilities purposes, of which the runway is part.
The Certificate of Occupancy of the12,0000 hectares of land was handed over by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Muhammed Musa Bello, last week, to his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika. The 12,000 hectares of land is for the actualisation of the aviation roadmap projects of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
According to the Director, Planning Research and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Mohammed Kabiru Shehu, an engineer, who represented the minister, said that one of the key projects to be executed on the land was the second runway project for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The MD/CE expressed appreciation to the Buhari-led administration and the minister of aviation for promises kept.
Other projects that would be executed as part of the aviation roadmap include Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre; Aviation Leasing Company (ALC); Agro- Allied Cargo Terminals; Aerotropolis or Airport City; National Carrier; Africa Aerospace and Aviation University (AAAU); second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, among others.
Some of the benefits that would accrue to Nigeria at the completion of the projects are: employment opportunities for Nigerians; enhanced transfer of technology; increase in foreign exchange earnings/increase in GDP contribution; backward integration of aircraft maintenance and repair facilities for both domestic and international carriers; improvement in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria; reduction in capital flight; increase in Bilateral Air Services Agreements with other countries, amongst others.
Present at the hand-over ceremony was the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu was represented by the Director of Human Resources, Honorius Anozie; Acting Director of Aerodrome Development of the Aviation Ministry, C.Awogbami; Team Lead of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Executive Secretary, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad; Regional General Manager (North Central)/Airport Manager, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Kabiru Mohammed; other officials of the Ministry of Aviation, FAAN and FCDA amongst other dignitaries.
The runway, according to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, became necessary in view of the fact that it was as critical as the economy of the country.