The Abuja chapter of the Hotel Car Hire Association of Nigeria has said that the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport will have a negative impact on the hospitality industry.

Tunde Kolade, the secretary of the chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the proposed six-week closure will drastically affect cab operators.

The ministry of aviation had announced the six-week closure of the airport on December to enable repair of the runway.

“With the closure of the airport, they are going to divert flights to Kaduna Airport; it is going to affect us drastically.

“To go and pick passengers from Kaduna to Abuja is not going to be easy for both passengers and our members.

“Kaduna is far; if they can carry out the repair in phases, it will be better; if it is possible, let them close one way and use the other way.’’

Kolade added that it was necessary for the government to repair the runway to ensure users’ safety.

The planned extensive repair of the runway was recently approved by federal executive council.

According to Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, the airport will be closed by midnight on March 8 and reopened for operations on or before April 19.

Sirika said that the repair would result in diversion of Abuja-bound flights to the Kaduna airport until the completion of the work.

The runway, which was designed in 1982 and expected to last for 20 years, exceeded its lifespan 14 years ago.



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