By Victor Ernest
The contractors working on the Kaduna international airport are still battling to mount electrical fittings, seats and toilets at the new terminal of Kaduna Airport, less than one day to the commencement of traffic diversion to the airport.
According to the SUN, a FAAN official who pleaded anonymity disclosed that ”the contractors are working day and night” to meet the March 8th deadline.
Latest indications at the Kaduna airport show that most floor and ceiling tiles have been fitted and all air conditioning units have been installed, but electrical fittings are unfinished, while chairs for the arrival and departure areas lay strewn about with a car park expansion still incomplete.
A contractor on the site said, staffing levels at the terminal building site had increased since mid-February.
According to Reuters reports, between March 3 and 5 about 50 builders were on the site, which indicates additional workforce of 20 from about 30 in January.
The alternative terminal
Kaduna Airport officials on their part, said the existing terminal will be used if the new site is not ready as it can handle up to 500 passengers at any one moment – equivalent to three or four short-haul jets, although some critics say that number is inflated.
In line with the logistic challenges ahead, data from Nigeria’s airport authority shows that Abuja Airport handled 4,859 domestic flights in December compared with the 171 that flew in or out of Kaduna.
Kaduna Airport is located in a restive area plagued by insecurity and kidnappings, prompting airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and South African Airways opting not to fly into Kaduna. Only Ethiopian Airlines has so far agreed to use the alternative Kaduna route provided by Nigerian government.
Security is set
The FAAN official however affirmed that the roads leading to the airport have undergone renovation, adding that extra police had already been deployed along the main road on which passengers will need to travel to Abuja in buses, guarded by security.
Kaduna international airport is a diversion route for passengers flying to Abuja due to the 6 weeks shutdown of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for repairs of its dilapidated runway.