While inspecting the final lap of work on the runway, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, confirmed that the airport is 96% ready and assured everyone that the airport will be reopened on the 19th of April, 2017.
“This is runway 22 where the work terminates. Remember work started from the other end which is runway 04. You can see that we have finished asphalting and we are at 96 percent completion.
“The marking of the runway and lighting are going on simultaneously. This is three to four days work and we still have about eight days to go. We are happy and we are on course.”
The minister also talked about a new technology used for the runway which will not retain rain water and another, where glass glide is put in the process of constructing the runway to reinforce it, to give it extra strength and prevent cracks.
“This is the first time any Nigerian runway is being treated with such material and that material is a 50 tonner.” He said.
At the moment, all Abuja-bound traffic is diverted to the recently upgraded Kaduna International Airport (KIA).
A lot of activities have also resumed ahead of next Wednesday reopening of the airport.
Kingsley Nwokoma, President, foreign airlines association in Nigeria, said, “In a civilised country, if they give you a date people will work with that date. But since the minister has put his job on the line, we are confident that flights will start in Abuja after next week."