To avoid the kind of emergency that led to the closure of the Abuja airport early this year, the federal government has said the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA Abuja, will be ready in 2019.

Apparently, the government is still making “preliminary consultations”.

Operators in the aviation sector have called on the government to construct a second runway at the NAIA, especially after the airport was closed for several weeks earlier this year.

The Federal Government had on March 8, 2017, shut the Abuja airport for six weeks to repair its 3.6-kilometre runway and consequently diverted flights from the NAIA to the Kaduna International Airport.

Also Read:Abuja Airport Reopens - Were Any Lessons Learnt?

To address the concerns about another runway for the airport, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, explained that the fund needed for the construction of the facility was budgeted in the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

He noted that the 2018 budget would also make another provision for the runway.

Sirika stated this when members of the Joint Aviation Trade Unions and Professional Associations Forum, a body comprising heads of different unions in the sector, visited him in his office in Abuja.