Concerned authorities in the aviation sector are yet to take action in dismantling two obstructing masts on the runway 08 of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, three months after The Daily Times carried out an investigation on the dangers posed 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.
Stakeholders have called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to, as a matter of urgency, dismantle the masts in order to avert calamity at the airport.
A recent Daily Times investigation revealed that the manager of the International Airport has written several letters to both NCAA and the Enugu state government to dismantle one of masts belonging to the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) while 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 cannot 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,” the source lamented.
International flight operations commenced in Enugu in 2013 with the introduction of 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 and Imo state governments did to complement the contributions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
A prominent labour leader from the South East told our correspondent that the Enugu state government needed to wake up and develop the only international airport in the area for the business of the region to thrive.
“As you can see, only Air Peace is our saving grace here in Enugu, the government of Enugu is not doing anything to help the airport to grow. The neighbouring communities are not helping the airport, they vandalise the facilities on ground. Some people are not happy that we have an airport here.”
It was further gathered that the airport risks certification hence government, especially that of Enugu state, ought to work with FAAN to ensure that all open items are closed as the presence of these obstructions will cost the airport of being certified as an international airport as it was of great safety concern.
The general manager public affairs, NCAA Mr. Sam Adurogboye, in a telephone chat told our correspondent that the aviation authority was working to bring down the obstructing masts at the airport.