Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (IATA: ABV, ICAO: DNAA) is an international airport serving Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. It is the main airport serving the Nigerian capital city and was named after Nigeria’s first President, Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996). The airport is approximately 20 km (12 mi) south-west of the city centre, and has an international and a domestic terminal that share its single runway
A new airport terminal was built in 2000 by Julius Berger, located near to the existing terminal that served both domestic and international flights. The new terminal opened in 2002 and serves international flights. The existing terminal now serves domestic flights.
In November 2006, the Abuja Gateway Consortium signed a US$101.1 million contract for the management of the airport over the next 25 years. The contract included the construction of an airport hotel, private car parks, shopping malls, and a bonded warehouse, totalling US$50 million during its first five years, and additionally an upfront payment of US$10 million. According to the business plan, total investments would have amounted to US$371 million during the period of the contract. However, then-President Yar’Adua revoked the contract in April 2008.
In June 2009, Delta Air Lines began a route to New York City via Dakar. It operated the flight with Boeing 757s. The following June, the carrier introduced seasonal nonstop service to New York on a Boeing 767. The flight stopped in Accra as of mid-2011. Delta left Abuja in 2012, however, citing the high cost of fuel and diminished passenger counts.
Plans were invited for the construction of a second runway. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger Construction Company for US$423 million, but was revoked due to the high cost. The Federal Government approved fresh bids for the construction of the second runway.
On January 4, 2017, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council backed the Ministry of Aviation’s decision to close the airport for six weeks to enable repairs on the runway, which was said to be dysfunctional. The Nigerian government also approved N1 billion for the conclusion of the Kaduna Airport terminal, which had been debated as an alternative for Abuja Airport. Several airport users, including the Nigerian Senate, opposed the planned closure. It was believed that the closure of the airport would cause hardship for international and local air travellers alike.
On March 8, 2017, the Federal Airport Authority in Nigeria, stated that the airport will shut to commercial traffic for at least six weeks to bring needed repairs to the runway. On 18 April 2017, the airport was reopened following the completion of the project.
On 20 December 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a new terminal building. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria says the newly completed terminal building can process up to 15 million passengers annually.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has its Abuja office on the airport grounds; previously the airport had the authority’s head office.
The airport operates a private jet wing that serves businesses, diplomats and politicians in the city. In 2016, the Ministry of Transportation announced plans for a new terminal for private Jet operations. The General Aviation Terminal project will cost N258 million naira and will include a new protocol Lounge and rehabilitation of the fire station at the Airport. It will serve non-scheduled flights.
2017 runway reconstruction
In 2017, the Nigerian Government awarded a contract to Julius Berger for the emergency rehabilitation of the airport’s only runway. It had been built to last for 20 years but had been in use for nearly 40 years at that time. The airport’s runway was starting to show signs of fatigue and disrepair. The Airport was closed for 6 weeks, and flights were diverted to neighboring Kaduna airport. The Airport reopened with the completion of the Runway on the 17 of April 2017, 2 days ahead of schedule