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Julius Berger: We don’t need to close Abuja airport if it is repairs only

Julius Berger: We don’t need to close Abuja airport if it is repairs only
January 17
15:51 2017

Wolfgang Goetsch, managing director of Julius Berger, says the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would not need to be closed if it was a case of “spot repairs” only to the runway.

But because it is a case of “new construction”, the airport has to be closed.

Hadi Sirika, minister for state on aviation, had announced the federal government’s decision to close the airport for six weeks, starting from March 8 to enable repairs on the runway.

He said the Kaduna airport would serve as an alternative during the period that of Abuja would be closed.

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But some people have expressed reservations over the idea, advising the government to consider carrying out the repairs without closing the airport in the nation’s capital.

Speaking at the senate on Tuesday during a special session on the closure of the airport, Goetsch said the runway could be repaired without suspending flight operations.

“The runways can be repaired and without closing, but if it is spot repairs it could be worked on in the night and opened up temporarily in the morning,” Goetsch said.

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“It can be shut down in the night. The spot can be repaired in the morning and temporarily given back for usage. But the state of the runway in Abuja, extent of damage and deterioration, the whole runway from one end to the other end is damaged.

“This means that if the method of spot repair is used, you start from one side of the runway, lock it in the night and in the morning to open it up for traffic.

“There is absolutely no option than to close the runway for these six weeks because it is not a repair work. It is a new construction of the whole surface of the building.”

Goetsch said the runway had to be monolithic needing interlocked layers to guarantee a life span of 10 years.

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He said it was in the interest of all stakeholders to ensure that the work on the runway was carried out as quickly as possible.

“On our end, we guarantee that within the six weeks, the repair work is done. This is subject to the fulfilment of the obligation of all stakeholders,” he said.

“Under the leadership of the minister of state for aviation, all stakeholders are on board. Everything is going on very smoothly according to plan and there is no doubt that the obligation of all stakeholders is fulfilled.”

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