NCAA certifies Abuja airport runway ready, safe for flight operations
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the regulator of the Nigerian aviation industry, after due diligence on the rehabilitated Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, on Monday declared it safe and ready for commercial flight operations.
The NCAA Director General Capt. Muktar Usman told newsmen at the runway yesterday that even the few open items that existed as at Sunday, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had closed the items by yesterday morning, thus the airport is now ready for use.
”Well as you can see, we have just done the final inspection of the runway rehabilitation and reconstruction of Abuja International Airport. It is done and it is quite satisfactory. We inspected yesterday and we made some observations but the findings that we found were not safety critical and today we found that they have been rectified” Capt. Muktar declared.
“So, the airport, the runway is very ready to accept flight operations safely. By this we are declaring that the airport and its runway are quite operational at the time that has been determined as the official opening of this airport” he assured.
He stated further that the NCAA has “carried out the inspection and we have confirmed that the job has been done quite satisfactorily in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and recommended practices.”
“The normal thing is to inform the aviation world through what we called, Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and that has been done and all aviators now know the airport is ready for reopening” he stated further.
On calibration he said, “nothing has been tampered with as far as the instrument landing system is concerned and everything is in calibration. Calibrations are normally scheduled and very soon this airport will also be calibrated along with other airports. It is not as if there is need for recalibration because nothing has been distorted. It will be normal routine calibration which will be applicable to other airports that are due for recalibration.”
Also speaking to newsmen, the FAAN MD Engr Saleh Dunoma said “we are very ready. All the repairs have been completed on the runway.”
“Previously, when you come here, you see various construction equipment on the runway but today, you can see through from one end to the other. That is from runway 04 to 022, their is no equipment on site. The runway is cleared” he showed newsmen.
According to him, the technical team are just doing some more detailed final checks on the runway.
“So the professionals in NCAA, FAAN, and the contractor are involved in the final inspection” he said.
“In fact we are ready to receive aircraft now but in aviation their are procedures so a notice to airmen (NOTAM) has to be issued before the runway is opened to traffic formally” he said.
“The NCAA had made some observations which are not safety critical but which we have rectified.
Technically speaking, the runway is ready” he said.
On the scheduled maintenance even after the runway is opened to traffic he said the “NCAA has given us a list of things to correct. But since they are not safety critical, we will connect those one even after the airport opens.”
It could be recalled that the airport was closed March 8, 2017 for runway repairs, and traffic diverted to the Kaduna International Airport. The closure which is for six weeks will terminate on the 18th of April and the runway opened to traffic on the 19th April as previously scheduled.