After the initial six weeks, the Abuja airport runway will still require another 18 weeks of ‘upgrade,’ an official said on Sunday.
According to a statement circulated to select journalists by the presidency, the 18 weeks’ upgrade would however, be carried out at night, meaning normal flight operations will continue during the day.
The source also said the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has been working diligently to minimise the inconvenience caused by the closure.
After the Abuja airport reopens for operations on April 19, upgrade works on the runway would continue for another 18 weeks.
This second phase of upgrade works on the runway will be carried out at night, with no disruption to flight schedules
-Unnamed presidency source
The source added that a media tour to allow reporters observe and assess the progress of work on the Abuja airport runway repairs would hold this week.
He added that “the repair is about its mid-point on Wednesday’’.
The committee had launched series of customer engagement initiatives to enable passengers and travellers affected by the closure of the Abuja airport get up-to-date information and updates.
These include a Call Centre (open 7a.m to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays), a website (AbujaAirportClosure.info), and a Twitter handle (@ABVClosure).
The closure of the Abuja airport and subsequent use of the Kaduna airport has faced heavy criticism even as most foreign airlines stayed away rather than use the Kaduna airport.
Last week, the House of Representatives condemned the arrangements made at the Kaduna airport saying the airport was unsafe and insecure.
On Sunday, the presidency source also said the Federal Government Coordinating Committee overseeing the repairs of Abuja airport said over 43,000 passengers have passed through the Kaduna airport.
The committee which also oversees the closure and relocation of passengers to Kaduna airport, the alternative to the Abuja airport, said that the figure was in respect of the first 11 days of operations in the exercise.
According to the source, the reconstruction at the Abuja airport is going according to schedule.
He expressed optimism that the airport will reopen after six weeks as planned.
The official is also involved in the presidential supervision of the airport closure and oversight.