At last the Enugu state government has given approval for the dismantling of two obstructing masts on runway 08 and a community market at the other end to ensure security.
The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN Engr Saleh Dunoma disclosed this in a chat with aviation journalists at the gateway forum of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents in Lagos.
According to Engr Dunoma, the governor of Enugu state last week during the visit of aviation Minister to the governor ordered the dismantling of the two masts and relocation of the community market to give way for proper expansion and to ensure security of the airport.
Dunoma explained that restiveness from communities around the airport has warded off contractors installing the lighting facilities at the airport adding that all the lighting facilities were on ground but could not be installed as a result of hostilities from the communities around the airport.
It will be recalled that concerned authorities in the aviation sector had on several occasions called for actions in the dismantling of two obstructing masts on the runway 08 of the Akanu Ibiam international airport Enugu as it posed as danger to safety.
The masts which remained threat to air safety are located at the take off end of the runway 08 of the Akanu Ibiam international airport Enugu making it difficult for aircraft to ascend directly.
Daily Times carried out investigation with a visit to the manager of Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, who disclosed that several letters have been written to both NCAA and the Enugu state government to dismantle one of masts belonging to Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) while the NCAA should carry out its oversight functions.
A source told our correspondent that the people charged with the responsibility of bringing down the masts were either playing politics or waiting for the worst to happen before they take action. “We can not continue like this and watch things go bad. For goodness sake, we have the authorities in charge of this and they are waiting for calamity to occur before they swing into action, it’s really bad”
International flight operations commenced in Enugu in 2013
with the introduction of the only international airline, Ethiopian Airlines which led to the expansion of the runway from its original condition of 2,500 metres length to 3,000 metres length or 3km to be able to accommodate medium size and big aircraft.
It was gathered that the Enugu state government has done little or nothing to improve the status of the airport by constructing facilities such as Very Important Personality lounge like the Kaduna sand Imo state governments did to compliment the contributions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
It was gathered further that the airport risks certification hence the government especially the Enugu state, must work with the FAAN management to dismantle the barriers.