The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to shut down the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu due to security reasons.
Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, said on Friday that reasons for the closure include bad runway, proximity to a market and the wrong location of the state radio mast. Siriki in a stakeholders forum held in Lagos late Friday said ‘’we have issues with the Enugu Airport and we may downgrade Enugu airport in terms of international status and I have discussed it with the federal government’’.
Siriki listed the major challenges hampering the smooth operation of the airport to include the poor state of the runway, the presence of a state radio mast on the flight path of airlines that threatens the safety of incoming aircraft, the siting of free trade zone at the end of the runway, as well as incessant bird strikes affecting airlines and occasioned by the presence of an abattoir at proximity to the airport.
He said he had held discussion with the Enugu State governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on the need to relocate the free trade zone in the interest of safety of aircraft and passengers.
Commentators are already highlighting the implications this action will have on the economy of south east.