Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The new international terminal that is being constructed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will begin operations in October this year, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria announced on Thursday.
FAAN also stated that the remaining facilities at the terminal that should be in place would be ready by next month, while the inauguration of the multi-billion naira project would be performed in October.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, disclosed this on the sidelines of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inspection of ongoing construction work at the airport.
“We are pressuring the contractor to finish (the terminal) in August so that we can start operations in October, and all the stakeholders are working together to ensure this happens,” he stated.
Dunoma said the light rail station that connects the airport to the city centre would be linked to the existing domestic terminal for seamless movement of travellers.
“We still have more work going on within the airport because there are two car park buildings to be constructed on both wings of the terminal. There are so many things to be done but between now and October, when we plan to start operations in the new terminal, even the new road network will be completed,” he explained.
The FAAN boss stated that among the five new terminals being built in Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt, the one in Abuja had been given priority because of the rise in passenger traffic in the capital city.
“Because of the volume of traffic in Abuja, we prefer to start operations here first. You can see there is congestion here and there, and if we must ease up operations, we must complete this project,” Dunoma added.
He noted that although the planned relocation of the control tower and fire station at the airport had nothing to do with the new terminal, the issues would be handled accordingly.
“The relocation of the control tower and fire station has nothing to do with the terminal building but those issues are going to be handled in the next stage of the items of work that will be carried out. But that will not stop us from using the terminal building,” Dunoma said.
He also stated that the Federal Government had given approval for the establishment of an independent power supply station for the airport, adding that water supply to the facility would come from the city’s main supply system.
“So, all these works are coming on and by October, they will all be functional and that is when we will start using the terminal building” he said.
Dunoma noted that the Federal Government was still procuring the second runway for the NAIA and that a programme had been put in place to ensure the delivery of the project.
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