Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will be shut at midnight today and not yesterday.
Speaking through Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. James Odaudu, the minister said the clarification became necessary, as the actual time for the closure had been misunderstood in some quarters.
According to him, “stakeholders in the aviation sector and the general public are, therefore, to note that Abuja airport remains open for operations until the midnight of Wednesday.
“Government has also concluded all arrangements for the complimentary transportation of passengers to and from Kaduna as soon as the Abuja Airport shuts down for operations.
“This is in line with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to mitigate the discomfort of air passengers, resulting from the closure.”
The minister said there would be an initial screening of passengers and luggage at the Abuja Airport, which was the departure point for the buses, as part of the arrangements and for security reasons. He explained that screening for boarding would be done at the Kaduna airport.
Sirika said government would also set up contact points at the Idu and Kubwa railway stations for those opting to travel by rail to Kaduna.
He warned that only those with valid air tickets and/or Boarding Passes would be allowed on the buses or travel by train at government expense, adding that the measure was necessary in order to properly identify genuine passengers. The minister, however, appealed to the public to understand that the decision to shut the Abuja Airport was taken in public interest.
“It is also in line with government stand on enhancing the safety and security of the nation’s airport and, of course, the flying public,” he added.