By Ndahi Marama
Maiduguri — The Federal Government, yesterday, re-opened the Maiduguri International Airport for commercial activities, 18 months after it was closed following persistent Boko Haram attacks in the city.
The airport was shut down early December 2013 few days after the insurgents launched a daring attack on the 79 Composite of the Nigerian Air Force base in Maiduguri and destroyed three military helicopters.
Since then, commercial airline operators deserted the state, with road transport being the only alternative means for travellers.
Similarly, intending pilgrims for both hajj and lesser hajj had to travel by road to Kano before being airlifted to the holy land. However, Borno State Deputy Governor, Zanna Umar Mustapha, told newsmen that the Federal Government resolved to re-open the airport following the seemingly security improvement recorded in the recent times.
He said: “It is interesting to announce that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has confirmed to me that the Federal Government issued a directive for the re-opening of the Maiduguri International Airport for commercial activities.
“In fact, the Chief of Air Staff told me that the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were already directed to work out effective modalities for the effective resumption of the flight.”
Zanna further explained that Medview Airlines has announced its decision to fully commence flight from Maiduguri en route Abuja-Kano and Jeddah.