By Patrick Aigbokhan
The Kaduna international Airport recorded about 3, 000 domestic flights during the six weeks closure of the recently reopened Abuja International Airport.
Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), disclosed the development on Sunday, while commending the efforts of Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation leading to the successful completion of the Abuja Airport remodelling, following which it was reopened Wednesday last week.
From further findings, out of the 3, 000 flights, about 5000 was recorded per week with about 71 flights per day.
During the period of closure of the Abuja Airport, local and international flights were diverted to the alternate Kaduna International Airport, which was also upgraded to handle large volumes of flights and passengers.
Commending the minister for the giant stride, Akinkuotu described the move as a major confidence booster for the air transport sector.
The NAMA boss said that by delivering the revamped runway ahead of schedule, the Minister was “sending an unambiguous message to both foreign and local stakeholders and investors, that Nigerian Aviation was ready to do serious business.”
“The minister is simply boosting the confidence of the travelling public to trust government, to believe we can deliver, we can do great things,
He was purposeful, determined and focused, which paid off for the aviation industry in the country, and today the airlines, passengers and the entire industry are now enjoying the dividends,” Akinkuotu added.
He also applauded the role played by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State; Hon. Rotimi Amechi, Minister of Transportation; Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance and other cabinet Ministers for their efforts in making the project a success.
“They all showed uncommon leadership here. They rallied everyone behind them. In fact, Senator Sirika worked round the clock. He took nothing for granted. He was on ground in Abuja and in Kaduna all the time. He has been exemplary. That’s why he succeeded,” the NAMA boss said.
According to him, the presence of NAMA’s air traffic controllers in sufficient number and the upgrade of landing aids by NAMA engineers contributed in making that feat a reality.
Capt. Akinkuotu also commended technical and operational staff of the agency for ensuring that NAMA played a critical role in the smooth running of Kaduna International Airport.
“I must commend them for displaying such diligence. They are well trained and motivated and it showed in their commendable performance. I will continue to build their capacity to enhance our air navigation service delivery,” the NAMA helmsman added.