By Chris Agabi
The Federal Government has hinted that the procurement process of the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIAA) will commence this year.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to journalists shortly after he, along the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, accessed the smoothness of operations at the Kaduna International Airport.
It is two weeks since the Abuja airport was shut for runway repairs and traffic diverted to the Kaduna Airport. Julius Berger got the contract at N5.8 billion and the entire repairs would last six months but the airpot will be open after six weeks.
Senator Sirika at the briefing flanked by Alhaji Mohammed reassured that the Abuja airport closure would be for exactly six weeks even as he said a time clock would be mounted at the airport this week.
The minister explained that the federal government was seeking possible ways to factor in the second Abuja runway project into the 2017 budget so Abuja airport could have a second runway as soon as possible.
He also noted that once the procurement process of the second runway begins, it would take the government 24 months to deliver the runway for use adding that government would build the runway before the planned concession of the airport happened.
On direct flights to London from the Kaduna International Airpot the minister said the British government had no objection thus he was discussing with Nigerian airlines and some entrepreneurs to have that service commenced quickly.
He said if the discussions go according to plan, Kaduna Airport should begin daily direct fights to London by Monday.