The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency has closed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to air traffic.
It was learnt that this followed the blocade of of the runway by a Saudi Airline cargo plane, which landed around 9pm on Wednesday but developed a minor problem after landing.
NAMA subsequently issued a Notice To Airmen on Thursday morning, meaning that the airport had been closed to both incoming and outbound planes.
As a result, thousands of passengers are stranded at different airports in the country, especially those who are Abuja-bound in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Kaduna, Kano and Abuja among others.
Officials are said to be battling to fic the grounded cargo plane and clear the runway.
UPDATE: Abuja airport now open
The government shut the airport since morning.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has been re-opened for business. The airport was shut and planes prevented from landing or taking off because its runway was blocked by a faulty Saudi Arabian cargo plane.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nnamdi Udoh, told journalists at the General Aviation Terminal of the airport that the Boeing 747 Saudi Air Cargo Flight SVA 6814 that veered off the runway on Wednesday night has been successfully recovered.
He said the airport has re-opened for normal flight operations.
Mr. Udoh said the accident was a minor one and no casualty was recorded. He expressed regrets over the inconvenience the temporary suspension of flight operations in Abuja had caused the travelling public.
The official said safety and security of travelers was paramount to the Nigerian aviation authority. He said the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) had commenced investigations into the incident and the report would be released soon.
Passengers scheduled to travel to and fro the Abuja airport on Thursday morning arrived at their departure airport only to be told that their flights were postponed because of the incident. The two largest domestic airline operators in Nigeria, Arik and Aero, eventually cancelled all flights to and from the Abuja airport scheduled for Thursday.
Source: Premium Times