The federal government has banned the planned helicopter shuttle service between Kaduna and Abuja in the wake of the closure of the Abuja International Airport and the attendant diversion of all Abuja-bound flights to the Kaduna airport.
National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Munguno, in a statement, insists that air passengers can only travel to and from Abuja via road or rail as no commercial helicopter is allowed to fly within the Federal Capital Territory Airspace.
Monguno stated: “In view of the closure of the airport, air travelers will be required to travel by road/train to Abuja from Kaduna International Airport.
“This will undoubtedly cause constraints on the movement of some passengers who will aim to travel using other means, notably the use of commercial ferry helicopters.
“Please be reminded that the airspace over the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is controlled and only security flights or those with the requisite security clearance from the Presidency are granted overhead clearance for obvious security reasons.
“Consequently, you are to note and ensure that no charter or commercial helicopter ferry flights are allowed to fly within Abuja airspace.”
The federal government has always insisted that it has put everything in place to ensure the safety and security of all air travellers to and from Abuja for the duration of six weeks that the Abuja airport closure is expected to last.
The closure was due to the need to repair the airport’s runway which the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said had completely failed.