Passengers Groan Over Skeletal Operation Of Kaduna Airport - DAILY TRUST
JUNE 22, 2022
By Lami Sadiq
Several passengers who use the Kaduna International Airport for domestic flights still have to travel to Abuja or Kano by road to board flights to Lagos and other states across the country since a security breach was recorded around the airport vicinity in March 26, 2022.
Daily Trust reports that the attack, which claimed the life of an employee of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Shehu Na-Allah, some three kilometres from the airport runway, had led to a temporary boycott by Air Peace and Azman Air. Azman Air however returned to the airport on May 23 and it is the only airline operating at the airport at the moment, coming four times a week.
Emmanuel Ejike who frequented the Kaduna International Airport before the security breach said he now travels to Abuja by road to catch a flight to Lagos or Port Harcourt. Asked if he was aware that Azman had renewed the flight route, Ejike said he was but complained that the flight service was now four times a week to Lagos and sometimes conflicts with his travel schedules.
“The return of Azman has lessened the stress for people travelling to Lagos, but there is no flight on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If you want to travel to Port Harcourt or anywhere in the country, you will still have to travel to Abuja or Kano. I for instance sometimes travel twice a week and so, depending on my travel schedule, I may have to travel to Abuja by road to catch a flight,” he said.
Barrister Hassan Kabiru, a resident of Kaduna, said he often travels to Kano to board a flight for Maiduguri or Port Harcourt, adding that even though traveling to Abuja could have been ideal, the risk of taking the Abuja-Kaduna Highway has made it a turn-off.
“With the suspension of the rail line, I have no choice but to travel to Kano by road. Abuja is a shorter distance but there is too much uncertainty on that route,” he said.
He called on the government to beef up security within and around the Kaduna International Airport to give a sense of confidence to airline operators and passengers.
Our correspondent however observed increased security around the road to the Kaduna airport as staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also confirmed that security presence has been beefed.
A staff member of FAAN told Daily Trust that the Kaduna State government through the state’s Pilgrims Welfare Agency had written to the airport notifying them that the 2022 hajj pilgrims will be airlifted from the airport.
“Perhaps that will increase the confidence of other airline operators and other passengers. Once we are able to conduct a hitch-free airlift of pilgrims, the airport will return to its normal operations,” he said.