The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has relocated to Enugu with his officials and aides for adequate preparation towards the reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport on Sunday.
Sirika, in a statement by James Odaudu, Director of Public Affairs in the ministry, on Thursday in Abuja, said the purpose of his relocation was to ensure nothing hindered the planned reopening.
The minister said his relocation to Enugu was also to monitor the finishing touches being done by the contractors handling the runway reconstruction and installation of facilities at the airport.
He said: “There have been apprehensions about the possibility of the resumption of flights at the airport as planned.
“This was as a result of an unwarranted and ill-advised pulling down of about two kilometres stretch of perimeter fence of the airport by an individual claiming ownership of the land on which the fence was raised.”
The Minister gave assurance that everything possible was being done to ensure that the people of the South East region begin to enjoy flight operations at the airport from Sunday.
Sirika commended the governors of the South East States, especially Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, for joining efforts with the ministry to ensure a successful return of activities at the airport.
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu was shut down in August 2019 to enable the Federal Government reconstruct the runway, which had become so dilapidated that aviation experts described it as an accident waiting to happen.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the earlier rehabilitation of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Sirika had similarly relocated to Kaduna for a number of days to ensure a seamless operation of flights at the Kaduna airport.
Kaduna airport then served as an alternate to the shut Abuja airport.