A year after the Federal Government closed the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu on August 24, 2019, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, reopened it on Sunday with the completion of the rehabilitation works on the tarmac and other critical infrastructure.
Beside the tarmac, which airlines noted was in a critical state, the government also fixed the perimeter fencing, pilot lounge, car park, terminal entrance, link way, radio equipment for the night operation at the airport, “and many more.”
In his speech, Sirika, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that the administration would soon deliver the completion of the cargo and international terminals at the airport.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Aviation had released additional N1 billion for the completion of the airport’s terminal building.
Sirika commended the South-East governors for their support in delivering the project and praised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and other agencies for their diligence in spite of the lockdown.
Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State described the airport as the best in the country, because of the upgrade of the runway to a Performance Based Navigational equipment, the first of its kind with a capacity to ensure flight landing in the night with lower visibility levels at the airport.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejocha, pledged that the lawmakers would support the minister in his plans to improve the aviation infrastructure in the country.
The speaker said the lawmakers would not hesitate to approve aviation fund brought before it.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi said: “I am very delighted to be part of this historic occasion, because aviation is the backbone to economic development in the country, and every part of this country deserves attention.”
Also, the Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, appealed to the aviation minister to build a new international terminal and cargo terminal for the airport.
He promised to give the minister all the legislative support that would ensure that all airports in the country were upgraded to world class.
Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, said that reopening of the airport to domestic and international operations was a landmark achievement of this administration.
President Buhari pledged to deliver world class airport infrastructure to Lagos, Abuja and Kano International Airports to fast track social and economic development in the country and ensure that Enugu Airport is upgraded to international world class standard.