BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The Senate has said that the provision of adequate funding for the nation’s aviation sector cannot be overemphasised even as it described it as a right step in the right direction in order to consolidate on the enviable safety record achieved by Nigeria on the global aviation map by making it more safer for all.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, disclosed this while speaking with journalists shortly after presenting his committee’s report on the 2021 budget proposal for the Aviation sector to the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja at the weekend.
He revealed that a N15bn provision has been made for the ongoing Second Runway project at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja in the 2021 fiscal year and as well as another N10bn for an Aircraft and Machines Station to be domiciled at the Katsina Airport.
“The budget that we have for 2021 is quite very promising and it’s quite very progressive budget.
“We have a provision for a second runway in Abuja, which will save us from some of the occasions when planes will have to be hovering and may be some of them when they run out of fuel or some of them trying to go to the nearby airports to land.
“So, when we have a second runway, you are guaranteeing the safety of both the passengers, the aircraft and you are equally minimising cost because when planes don’t hover around, it means they can accurately calculate the quantity of gas that is required. So, it’s a good thing to have a second runway.
“It’s what ought to have been done some 10 years ago, 15 years ago. We equally have a proposal of about N15billion for the second runway.
“We have another about N10billion again for Katsina Airport, where we intend to set up Aircraft and Machines Station in Katsina,” Adeyemi said.
He also revealed plan to bolster security around the nation’s airports by providing perimeter fencing to safeguard them against trespassing and security breaches.
“Apart from that, quite a number of the airports are unfenced and that accounts for when you see animals straying right into the airports and others. So, we are proposing perimeter fencing in quite a number of airports in Nigeria in order to safeguard the airports.
“There is equally provision for purchasing of more meteorological equipment, so that there can be accurate forecast of weather. The take-off and landing of planes will be well guided.
“So, we made provisions for these key sectors that are required in the Aviation to make it more safe,” he added.
Adeyemi further revealed that abandoned Airstrips across the country will be rehabilitated and made operational in order to encourage air travel in Nigeria.
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