Magnus Eze, (Enugu) and Chinelo Obogo
Barring last minutes hitches, the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, currently undergoing reconstruction, will be completed by end of this month.
The two concrete turning pads at runway 08 and 26 had reached 100 per cent completion including the asphaltic regulatory treatment between the two runways.
These updates were contained in the third interim report of the Airport Refurbishment/Palliative Works Committee, submitted to the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) by its Chairman, Chris Okoye, on May 24, 2020.
The report obtained by Daily Sun added that the placement of fibreglass over the asphaltic regulatory areas had commenced from runway 08 while the laying of 60mm of asphaltic binder course was simultaneously being applied over the fibreglass. It also indicated that the erection of the final asphaltic wearing course shall follow thereafter; while the airfield light contractor was expected to resume work on site “about mid-June, 2020 and should complete its works between 3 to 4 weeks after the final completion of the runway.” Although the Federal Government had promised that the airport would be ready for use before the last Easter, Okoye’s report said that it was not possible because the impact of COVID-19 pandemic led to the contractors leaving project site.
He however, stated that the stakeholders had worked harmoniously during the period of the lockdown and were able to get the contractor, PW, back to the project site by May 14. The report further said that work was progressing on the 12.0km perimeter fence which is expected to be completed by end of August.
According to the report, “Contract for a comprehensive array of external drains to arrest the perennial storm water problems that have been associated with the airport was awarded by FAAN. The execution has been going uninterruptedly and would be completed by end of June. “The clinic, another key requirement of ICAO, has been awarded by FAAN and the contract is currently proceeding exceedingly well and completion is estimated by end of July. “Similarly, the contract for the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), another key requirement of ICAO, is on-going and would be completed by end of June. It said that arrangements have been concluded for the perimeter road, grading/grassing/landscaping, renovation of the existing terminal building which are due to commence within the next 2 weeks.”
This was as the Governors of the South-Eastern states had in their last meeting, assured the people that with the progress of work at the site, the airport would be reopened soonest, subject to the COVID-19 programme of the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that passengers would be expected to arrive at least three hours before their take-off time when commercial operations resume at airports later this month. Stating this yesterday on its Twitter handle, FAAN said that passengers’ early arrival would enable efficient checks and screening before boarding.
“COVID-19 Flight Resumption Protocol for Passengers: You are advised to arrive at the airport three hours before your flight due to the new COVID-19 safety checks,” FAAN wrote.