Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation (2nd Right) and Other Dignitaries at the Reopening of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu Photo: Nigerian Eye

Federal Government reopens Enugu International Airport after renovation

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to its shutdown for facelift, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, in Enugu State of Nigeria, 371 days after, was reopened Sunday, August 30, 2020.

ConsumerConnect recalls the international airport had been shut since August 24, 2019, when President Muhammadu Buhari approved N10 billion for rehabilitation work.

Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, Saturday performed an inaugural flight to the newly rehabilitated runway in order to ascertain the quality of work done at the only international airport in the South-East geopolitical region of the country.

Earlier, the Minister had promised to reopen the airport by April to commemorate the Easter celebration, but the completion of the project was stalled by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic as workers temporarily deserted the site.

The airport is equipped with a new Category Two (CAT2) instrument landing system (ILS), airfield lighting, taxi lighting, among others to aid flight operations.

The Newly Renovated Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu  

It was also learnt the renovated Enugu Airport now gets a new landing system, including an expansion of its runway.

The airport runway was reported to have been resurfaced with bad stretches repaired and extended to accommodate larger aircraft.

Also, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the manager of the airport, has done the requisite floor marking and other COVID-19 protocols ahead of the return of commercial flights.

The Minister for of Aviation stated that President Buhari takes the job of rehabilitating the airport very seriously, given its strategic importance to the economy of the South-East as the airport serves other neighbouring states such as Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, among others.

Sirika said: “We take this job very seriously. We know the importance of Enugu, not only being an international airport; we know that it is a centre for the South Eastern part of the country.

“All of the commercial activities, the trading activities and festivities are domiciled and centred around this city, a very important city for that matter.”

An Air Peace flight touched down around 1:40 p.m. with dignitaries that witnessed the occasion, including Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister for Labour and Employment; and Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation;

Others are Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President; Hon. Nnolim Nnaji,  Chairman, House Committee on Aviation; and Mr. Osita Okechukwu, Director-General, Voice of Nigeria, among others.

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