>> The runway airlines no longer want to land on. Nigeria's Abuja Airport closing for six weeks of runway repairs after it became so damaged airlines threatened to stop flying there. Riddled with potholes, some aircraft had reported damage to their undercarriage. Passengers will now be diverted to Kaduna Airport, about 160 kilometers north.
Reuters correspondent in Nigeria, Paul Carsten, says the road between the two is fairly dangerous.>> Dangerous, with the route known for kidnappings, including that of a diplomat from Sierra Leone. The road is also in a state of disrepair, although some work has been done on it recently. Embassies in the Capital are now saying that they're going to restrict all but the most essential travel and a lot of that will be done with armed escorts and armored vehicles.
>> The airports themselves operate at entirely different capacity.>> Abuja Airport, handling nearly 5,000 domestic flights in December while less than 200 flew in and out of Kaduna, where final preparations are being installed ahead of its increased activity. Some airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and South African Airways are refusing to fly into Kaduna because of operational concerns.
And questions are being asked of just how long the work will take.>> The government and the construction company working on the Abuja airport repairs say that they should take six weeks. However, like with many similar construction projects in Nigeria, there is a chance that this could take far, far longer.
>> And it's already forcing changes to the event calendar. St. Patrick's Day celebrations were held two weeks early so Irish musicians could fly in and out before the airport closed.