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Abuja Airport repairs, 40% completed…..Ayelesan

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Julius Berger, the contractor handling the repair of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway, have said that the work is 40 per cent completed.

The duo gave made this known in Abuja on Monday when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation led by its Chairman, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, inspected the project.

Mr Yemi Ayelesan, Resident Engineer, FAAN, told the committee that the hardest part of the work, which is mailing of the 3.6 kilometres runway, had been completed.

He explained that the laying of ‘’fibre glide rubber’’ which prevents water from going deep underground and also prevent runway from cracking has also been completed.

Ayelesan told the committee that the contractors are working to specifications and would deliver on schedule, expressing confidence that the six weeks period for reopening of the airport was feasible.

According to him, the contractors are working round the clock to ensure that they meet the deadline.

Ayelesan said the repair work was a total reconstruction and not partial rehabilitation, explaining that the entire runway had been excavated for laying of asphalt.

He said there were isolated areas that were so bad that required digging deeper beyond mailing and laying of asphalt, stating that the entire surface were mailed to a certain depth.

According to him, there is nothing like partial rehabilitation, even the taxi way is being repaired.

“Laying asphalt does not take time; it is the easiest part of the work.

“The lighting system is the next step, and the cable can be fixed within two days, as things are now, we will start fixing the light cable on March 29,’’ he said.

Dr Lai’s Richter, Project Manager, Julius Berger, said the work was being done in line with the programme of work.

Richter said the fixing of the lighting cable would commence on Wednesday, restating that the runway repairs would be completed before April 19 deadlines.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Onyejeocha, said their visit was to seek explanation on the level of work so far in line with the project agreement.

She also raised concern as to whether the repair work was a total reconstruction or partial repair, urging the contractor to ensure the completion of the project as scheduled.

“We want them to know that Nigerians are concerned and that there should be no extension of the completion date based on the agreement that we have put in place, ’’she said.

The contractors have recorded progress within 19 days since the commencement of work.

The runway was shut on March 8 for six weeks for its total repair and Abuja flights diverted to Kaduna pending the completion of the repair work.

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Aviation

Passengers Commend Integrity, Professionalism of Dana Air Security Team

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Passengers have commended the integrity and professionalism demonstrated by the Dana Air security team on discovery of valuable items forgotten onboard its aircraft

The airline in a statement issued by its Media and Communications Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa said, ‘we are not surprised by the recent commendations that our security team has been getting on their constant display of integrity and professionalism on and off the job.

‘’There have been many cases of lost and recovered items like phones, ipads, huge sums of money, Nigerian passports with valid visas and lots of valuable items. We have also returned a lot of missing foreign and Nigerian passports to the immigration, embassies and even sometimes call the owners in the cases where we are able to track the passenger’s booking with authentic details. This is also one of the reasons we advise passengers to enter their correct details when booking.’’

Recently, a passenger on one of our flight from Abuja to Lagos left a bag containing $5,000 and some other valuables. On getting to Victoria Island, he noticed he wasn’t with the bag and dashed back to the airport, met the security team who confirmed the item was found. He proved ownership of the item; completed necessarily documents and got his missing item back immediately.

He thanked the security team for displaying a high level of integrity and professionalism in handling an issue that involved hard currency. He also appreciated the staff for proving all the negative things they hear about Nigerians wrong.

Another passenger, Musa Anasemi, who forgot a Nigerian passport with a valid US visa, said he didn’t have an idea where he left the passport, but after about nine days, he decided to check with us. He got his passport with gratitude and praises for the airline and the security staff that found the item and declared it.

We carry out our due diligence in recruitment across board and have invested heavily in training and retraining of staff. We also try our best to keep staff happy in our little way and these are the results.

We are also glad that our staffs have been able to prove to the world that some of the things they hear about us around the world are actually not true. The safety, comfort and well-being of our guests will remain a top priority and we will continue to keep the flag flying.’’

In 2018, Dana Air had 34 of its air passengers’ luggage missing with 32 of them recovered between January and December of same year according to a report obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The airline’s security team have been commended for not only displaying integrity but for foiling series of security threats to its aircraft.

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Aviation

Dana Air Begins Owerri-Abuja flights May 1

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As part of its strategic route expansion drive across Nigeria, Dana Air has announced plans to introduce Owerri- Abuja –Owerri flights on May 1

”We are greatly delighted to introduce an additional flight on our Owerri route, connecting Owerri to Abuja and back, said Kingsley Ezenwa, Dana Air’s Media and Communications Manager. ‘’ This is part of our commitment towards providing dependable options for the good people of Imo state and ensuring seamless travel for business and leisure travelers.’’

Speaking further, Kingsley said, the airline which currently operates over 27 daily flights from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Owerri, will operate flights from the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri to Abuja and back on Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.

‘’From May 1, 2018, we will operate one flight from Owerri to Abuja on Mondays to Fridays at 12.33pm and Abuja to Owerri at 2.16pm. On Sundays, Owerri to Abuja flights will be at 5.31pm and Abuja to Owerri at 12.06pm.’’

​He noted that the airline had to create a flight from Owerri to Abuja as a result of the overwhelming calls from its guests, who had enjoyed its uninterrupted schedule and on-time departures from Lagos to Owerri and assured guests of the airline’s commitment towards providing a reliable and affordable service across its route network.

He advised the airline’s customers to visit its website www.flydanaair.com or any of its sales outlets  at Imo Condorde Hotel in Owerri, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Silverbird Galleria in Lagos and all other airport sales desk  for fares as low as 18,000 one way and 45,000 business class tickets.

​Dana Air, after a thorough audit conducted by the Imo state government in 2017, was selected for an airline partnership as part of the Government’s commitment towards providing career and job opportunities for indigenes of the state, and affordable fares to boost leisure and business travel to and around the state. ​

 

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Aviation

President Buhari To Flag World Aviation Forum

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www.securenigeria365.com

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the World Aviation Forum, and flag off the event.

This was contained in a statement issued today by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Mr James Odaudu.

According to the statement, the President’s presence was to emphasise the importance attached to the consideration of Nigeria’s emergence as the first country to host the annual event organised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The three-day event, which holds from November 20 – 22 in Abuja, will be the first to be held outside the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal, Canada. It also underscores Nigeria’s rising profile within the aviation world.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said Nigeria’s hosting of the ICAO World Aviation Forum, coming so soon after the country hosted the ICAO Symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), is a clear indication of the confidence the Buhari administration has elicited within the sector, and an endorsement by the world body of its reform programmes for the nation’s aviation industry.

“The third ICAO World Aviation Forum, which is intended to explore the benefits of the aviation sector to social, economic development and prosperity of member states, is aimed at top-ranking government officials in charge of aviation, transport and infrastructure, finance, economy and tourism; and key industry and financial partners.

“The forum is also expected to discuss, identify needs, and facilitate the funding and financing required to accelerate the implementation of international civil aviation standards and policies, as well as global plans for aviation, in support of the ICAO No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative,” the statement read in part.

The objectives of the forum include the establishment and alignment of infrastructure programmes and plans that are consistent with the ICAO global strategic plans for aviation like the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP).

The meeting will also discuss the stimulation of common and interoperable air transport systems leading to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

On the benefits of the forum, Mr Sirika said it is expected to build on the outcomes of the two previous ICAO World Aviation Forums (IWAF/1 and IWAF/2) held in November 2015 and September 2016 respectively.

He added that it will also tackle the existing and future financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure and capacity development in member states, especially in Africa, in the spirit of the ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative.

The minister said Nigeria appreciates the honour and privilege of being the first country to host the Forum and appealed to ICAO for continuous support for the country’s drive to reposition its aviation sector.

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