Senate backs down on Abuja airport closure rejection

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The Senate on Tuesday suspended its opposition to the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja for six weeks for repairs of its only runway.

The closure is scheduled to start on March 8, 2017. While the airport will be reopened after six weeks, the rehabilitation project will last six months.

While the lawmakers expressed their reservations for the diversion of flights from Abuja to Kaduna, they called on the Federal Government to put all advices into consideration.

The Senate made its position on the matter known after its plenary on Tuesday.

The Nigerian Society of Nigeria and the contractor, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Limited were however sharply divided over a total closure of the airport during the rehabilitation work.

While the NSE called for a segmented repair model to allow landing at takeoff on the runway, Julius Berger stated that it would be dangerous to work on the runway while it is in use.