The Senate has kicked against the planned closure of the runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The closure scheduled to begin from March 6, 2017 will last for six weeks and carry out repairs on the runway.
However, the upper legislative chamber kicked against the closure.
It also ordered its committee on Aviation to meet with the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar and heads of aviation agencies within two days for alternative measures.
This followed a motion by Hope Uzodinma (PDP Imo West) titled: “The Planned Closure of Abuja Airport”.
The lawmaker argued that the six weeks closure of the only airport in the nation’s capital will cause severe hardship on international and local air travelers and consequently dent the nation’s image.
According to him, a complete shutdown of the airport will impact negatively on international trade and related activities, with a multiplier effect that can exact further pressure on the economy.
He added that the logistics and security challenges the diversion of Abuja bound flights to Kaduna will throw up, would be too much to cope with.
He therefore called on the Senate to stop the move as according to him, all other available options have not been exhausted to avoid the total shutdown of the Airport.
Virtually all the senators who contributed to the motion supported it.
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the idea of total closure of the Abuja Airport is not the best option.