From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has described the continued suspension of international flights at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, as a worrisome revenue haemorrhage, hoping it could be reopened soon.
The Minister said this when he received a delegation from Kano State, led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in his office in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Sirika said, it does not make economic sense for government to spend so much money on the airport without maximising its capacity, despite the attendant degeneration in infrastructure, redundancy among operational staff, hardship to travellers and other losses.
He however, told the delegation that included some members of the Kano State House of Assembly, representatives of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and members of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, that the decision to suspend international flights to and from the airport, like the ones in Enugu and Port Harcourt, were for health and security reasons.
The Minister acknowledged the hardship to the users of the airport, passengers and service providers alike, and promised that all that was necessary for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport would be fast-tracked to ensure that it resumes soon.
He however challenged Kano indigenes to create activities that will make the airport more viable through increased passenger traffic.
Earlier in his remarks, the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his visit was to show appreciation to the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for the completion of the International wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, and to appeal for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport. The Governor expressed great concern over the effect of the continued suspension of international flights to and from the airport by passengers and service providers.