Abuja airport runway Repair is 57.5% completed



The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway repair is 57. 5 per cent completed. He insisted the April 19 reopening date is achievable.

Sirika disclosed this during a media tour led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the airport yesterday.

According to the minister, the project was being executed by the contractor in accordance with laid down programme of work and reiterated that there would be no need for time extension.

He explained that the first segment, which is 1.2 kilometres has been completed, while asphalt was being laid on the second segment of 2.4 kilometres.

He added that the runway was being rebuilt with new and improved technology known as the Glass Fibre Grid to give it strength and prevent it from cracking.

Sirika maintained that this is the first time that a Nigerian runway is being treated with such material, which is 50 toners to cover the entire runway.

“The airport will be more compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard and best practices and will be more efficient at the time it is going to be reopened,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the essence of the tour was to enable the media have firsthand information on the level of work on the runway.

Mohammed stated that it was to reassure the public that the six weeks closure of the airport would not be extended.

Meanwhile, a Nigerian pilot, Captain Ademilola Odujinrin, has made history, becoming the first African pilot to fly solo around the world.

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Odujinrin, who works for Air Djibouti, completed the final leg of his historic journey Wednesday afternoon, landing safely at Washington Dulles International Airport, United States, where the journey began in September 2016.

The pilot completed the entire circumnavigation in a Cirrus SR22, stopping in more than 15 countries on five continents, returning to Washington DC.

The flight is part of Project Transcend, a foundation, which aims to inspire young people to achieve their goals, regardless of their personal circumstances.

Ademilola said: “Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too!”

Ademilola has logged over 4,000 hours as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot since earning his pilot licence six years ago.

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