NIGERIA – Nigeria’s Federal Government has commissioned the recently renovated Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu ahead of resumption of international flights into the country.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during the official opening ceremony in Enugu, said that domestic flight would start immediately while the international flight would begin on September 5.
The reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu is coming after 370 days of its closure for maintenance and reconstruction work on the airport’s facilities and runway.
During the shutdown, the airport underwent a major upgrade exercise that costed Nigerian taxpayers about US$ 25.88 million (N10 billion).
The project consisted of renovation and upgrading of the taxiway and linkway as well as establishment of an emergency operation centre and a car park.
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport also got a new entrance gate, a perimeter fence, and a perimeter road.
The renovation at the airport also saw the rehabilitation of terminal building, the pilot lounge, and the installation of an instrument landing system that will allow landing during bad weather.
Hadi Sirika who represented Nigeria’s President Maj. Gen (rtd) Muhammadu Buhari further revealed that the focus would now be on delivering the Cargo terminal, the international terminal building and many more in the airport soonest.
He revealed that his Ministry had already approved N1 billion to fund the terminal building expansion that is currently implemented by a Chinese contractor.
Meanwhile, the South-East Governors Forum has appealed to Mr Buhari to allow more international flights to the airport.
The forum’s chairman, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, made the appeal during the reopening ceremony of the airport in Enugu.
Mr. Umahi said that adequate international flight operations were necessary as they would improve the socioeconomic activities in the region.
The reconstructed Enugu airport adds to the list of airports that the Federal Government has carried out reconstruction and maintenance work on.
The list includes the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport.