The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Sunday confirmed that was fire outbreak at the control tower of the Kaduna airport, forcing the management and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to close the airport for flight operations.
The spokesman of aviation agencies, Yakubu Dati, said the control tower was gutted by fire but did not give details on what caused the fire and the degree of damage wreaked at the airport.
THISDAY learnt that the whole tower was burnt down because the fire service did not respond to the emergency situation on time, possibly because of the holiday.
Also, in a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs of NAMA, Supo Atobatele, NAMA said flight operations to the airport had been temporarily suspended.
“Flights to Kaduna airport have been temporarily suspended following a fire incident which razed the tower and completely destroying air traffic control facilities. NAMA had already issued NOTAM (Notice To Air Men) to that effect informing the operating airlines locally and across the globe of this development,” the statement said.
Atobatele said the fire incident was attributed to a power surge, which immediately sparked fire, razing the entire tower.
He added that all the personnel on duty were safely evacuated.
He, however, did not explain why the fire department of FAAN, which should be on 24 hours alert, was unable to promptly put out the fire.
The General Manager said the Managing Director of NAMA, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, had directed the immediate deployment of the agency’s mobile tower currently in Abuja to Kaduna airport to resume normal services by sunset today.
“There is no cause for alarm as we are on top of the situation. Our mobile tower is capable of handling normal traffic as it is well equipped with necessary ATC (Air Traffic Control) console to do that,” the managing director said.