The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, has backed the plan by the Federal Government to close the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for repairs.
Usman made the announcement while speaking with aviation correspondents at Ikeja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that government had announced a proposal to close the airport for six weeks from March 8 to repair the dilapidated runway.
Usman said that after a detailed review of the situation, the closure of the airport remained the best option for the country.
“Our role as the regulator is to ensure that the airport is operated in a safely manner.
“The operator of the airport, which is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, approached us that they wanted to fix the runway which is long overdue for repairs.
“It is no longer possible to do spot repair, due to the extensive damage so you have to close down the airport.
“So the best option was to close the airport in the interest of safety and the NCAA will always consider safety first before any other thing.”
According to him, the best alternative to the Abuja Airport is the Kaduna Airport, due to its proximity and the facilities on ground.