Senate rejects planned closure of Enugu Airport

Senate rejects planned closure of Enugu Airport

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The Senate has rejected the planned closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, by the Federal Government.

The upper legislative chamber insisted that such a move would hurt the economy of the South East and other neighbouring states in the South South and North Central regions.

It also urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate the runway of the airport to ensure safety of passengers and aircraft.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to take steps to complete the new terminal building of the airport and put it to use by local and foreign airlines.

In a motion moved by Victor Umeh and 16 other senators at Thursday plenary, lawmakers pleaded with the Federal Government to, through the Ministry of Aviation, develop a water source with the nearby Ekulu River for the use of the airport.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, said the poor condition of the airport was a source of worry to air travellers in the area.

He further revealed that the neglect of the airport was hurting the economy of the entire five states of the South East, stressing that fixing it would not only impact the region, but every Nigerian.

Umeh in his motion, lamented that since the launch of the airport as an international facility in 2013, not much had been done in giving it a facelift that befits an international airport in terms of standard structures and other facilities that would enhance smooth operations.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had said it would downgrade the airport from handling international operations because of its inability to expand the runway.

Immediate past Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure at the 6th Aviation Stakeholders Forum in Lagos.

Sirika said that there were some developments around the airport that posed security and safety threat to flight operations.

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja



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