The federal government has announced dates for the reopening of Kano, Enugu, and Port Harcourt airports, for international flights.
Speaking at the weekly briefing of the presidential taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports will be reopened for international flights on April 5, April 15 and May 3 respectively.
There have been calls for the federal government to reopen the international wing of the airports, since it was shut in 2020 as part of efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The minister had said the decision to suspend international flights in Kano — as is the case with the airports in Enugu and Port Harcourt — was for health and security reasons.
But the house of representatives passed a resolution last Wednesday, asking the federal government to reopen Mallam Aminu Kano airport for international flights.
“There have been agitations for us to open Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano and of course, it takes a tremendous amount of work, appropriation in the management of this virus to be able to open ore departure up other areas of entry,” the minister said.
“We will do only at a time what will be good for the management of this virus, it is very painful especially for us in civil aviation to have our airports closed and our direct source of income affected as we are finding it extremely difficult to pay salaries.
“So, we shut down the airport with great care and when we shut down the airports, we had to keep them running otherwise the facilities in there will get dilapidated for lack of usage. So, it is in our interest to keep them open but unfortunately, we couldn’t because of our collective health and goods of the country and those that do business with Nigeria.
“Now that we have most of the things in place due to the work by the PTF, we will be opening Enugu airport on the 3rd of May 2021. We will be opening Kano on the 5th of April, 2021 and Port Harcourt on the 15th of April, 2021 for international flights.”
Sirika added that everything necessary for the smooth operations of the airports will be put in place before the scheduled date.