Bounce Exclusive: Abuja Airport Reopens - Were Any Lessons Learnt?
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was reopened to flight operations on Tuesday, a day earlier than the scheduled date.
The airport was shut on March 8 to allow Julius Berger Plc repair the runway and taxi ways for a period of six weeks.
During the period the airport was closed, all flights headed to Abuja were diverted to Kaduna from where passengers connected Abuja by road on government sponsored buses.
The excitement that greeted the reopening of the Abuja airport seems to have healed the pain occasioned by its closure.
But we should not easily forget how shoddily the arrangement of the free buses were during the period, despite the enormous resources devoted to making the journey seamless.
While we are celebrating the reopening of the airports, perhaps we should also ask the ministry of transport how much it cost tax payers to convey passengers from Kaduna to Abuja while repair work lasted.
When Bounce News went through the route in March, the delays and apprehension caused by security concerns were unimaginable.
The journey that should have lasted 2 hours went on for 5 hours.
But as far as state of Nigeria’s airports go, there are still several matters arising.
First, the Kaduna – Abuja road was declared quite unsafe by the government during the period and therefore had police and soldier escorts accompany every bus.
Is that road still unsafe now that the Abuja airport is back in full operations? One wonders what will become of those who ply the Kaduna – Abuja routes daily.
More so, the state of the Kaduna airport, comes into question. First, the Kaduna airport had to be rehabilitated before it could be used for the diversion. Up until last week, repair work was still ongoing at the airport. Will work continue now that Abuja airport has been reopened?
On arrival at the Kaduna International airport, one would notice that cracks have begun to appear on the runway. Will it take another emergency intervention before that is fixed?
Photos have also recently emerged of the Enugu international airport with badly cracked runways. Will that be another disaster waiting to happen or another emergency special intervention?
With all the resources committed to repairing the Abuja airport runway, it should be a wakeup call to all the federal government agencies concerned to become more proactive in tackling the challenges confronting the nation’s aviation sector.
Photos of Enugu international airport runway as posted by Twitter user, Onye Nkuzi
The making of intellectual fraudsters on the internet pic.twitter.com/bjV3yEgCHh— SoulJah (@jeffphilips1) April 17, 2017