By Adekunle Williams
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has hailed the urgent steps taken by the Enugu State Government to improve safety at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Addressing aviation correspondents at Ikeja on Saturday, Sirika said that he was excited to see that the Enugu State Government had seen reason with the aviation ministry to address safety concerns at the airport promptly.
“We are appreciative that in the name of safety, the Enugu State Executive Council approved the immediate closure of Orie Emene Market, including the abattoir, to forestall any tragedy at the airport.
“We are also happy that the council also ordered immediate removal of all illegal structures encroaching on the land of the airport, including the radio mast of the state broadcasting service and the free trade zone.”
Sirika said, however, that it would be extremely comfortable if the directives issued by the State Government were carried out immediately.
According to him, carrying out the directive will give the aviation ministry an impetus to carry out repairs and to expand the runway of the airport.
On May 17, the minister announced that the Federal Government might downgrade the airport from handling international operations because of issues relating to the runway of the airport.
Sirika stated that there were many issues around the airport that posed security and safety threats to flight operations.