The runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, will be closed for major repairs on Saturday, August 24, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

There is no date yet for the reopening.

But the chief spokesperson for the organization, Henrietta Yakubu, said yesterday that stakeholders would be duly informed when the runway would be reopened.

The planned closure is coming three months after the immediate past Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the airport would be closed down over the state of the runway.

The former minister had said that the airport would be degraded for international operations because the runway length is not ideal for such operations.

Mrs Yakubu confirmed yesterday that the closure was aimed at resolving the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations.

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The general manager said the closure of the runway would take effect by 12 a.m. on August 24.

Mrs Yakubu said FAAN remained committed to its core values of safety, security and comfort of the airport users in the country.

Meanwhile, the management of Air Peace has commended the Federal Government for the decision to close the Enugu International Airport for proper repair and maintenance of the airport’s runway.

The airline’s Chairman, Allen Onyema, who made the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos, said the runway had been giving stakeholders serious safety concerns.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Air Peace is fully and totally in support of this decision. Though the decision will affect the travelling public.

“However, the airline, place the safety of the flying public, our crew and equipment above any commercial benefits.

“The government should go all out to put everything in place, within the period of the closure, that will make the airport rank among the best international airports in the country.

“We plead with the federal government to make the airport a 24 hours flight operations airport by improving the night landing infrastructure,” he said.