Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said the Federal Government is on course to ensure rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, is complete and reopened for flight operations before Easter.
On his official Twitter handle, he said they were almost done with the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and were on course to open the airport before the Easter celebrations.
“We are almost done with the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) at Enugu Airport. We are on course to reopen the Airport before Easter, God willing,” he said.
The Akanu Ibiam Airport was closed on August 24 last year for the rehabilitation of its runway and provision of airfield lighting. In furtherance of its commitment to the timely and successful completion of the rehabilitation of the airport, Enugu government has demolished buildings and structures that encroached on the airport land.
Addressing newsmen during the demolition executed by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), led by its Executive Chairman, Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh, Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, said the exercise was in response to the safety concerns raised by the Federal Government about the airport.
FG had raised concerns over illegal structures encroaching on the land of the Airport, radio mast of the state broadcasting service, and Free Trade Zone, requesting the state government to address the challenges for safety and security of the people and the airport. Following the swift interventions of the state government, FG through the Ministry of Aviation and FAAN had expressed satisfaction with compliance to the directives, which paved way for the ongoing rehabilitation of the airport.
Aroh said the demolition exercise was in continuation of the state government’s efforts to ensure that the airport reopens as scheduled by the federal government for effective operations.
He pointed out that the State Executive Council (EXCO) in its first meeting in 2020, approved the request made by FAAN for the issuance of a composite Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) and full acquisition of the airport land, disclosing that the demolition exercise was part of the processes being carried out in the overriding public interest.
“We are committed to the welfare of our people and one of the most fundamental processes we need to undergo, to continue to grow the economy of Enugu State and the entire South East geo-political zone and beyond, is to ensure that this international airport, which is the only international airport South East of the Niger, is fully functional.” The commissioner said demolition of the encroached structures will allow for installation of night landing lights at the airport.