Work on the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu will take about four months to complete, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State announced today, 31 August 2019.
The Governor disclosed that South East Governors have been having a running conversation with the Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Abubakar Sirika, and that they are quite pleased with the assurances they have received regarding the Federal Government’s plan to reconstruct the airport and to complete the work by December 2019.
Umahi also said that South East Governors are in full support of the decision to close down the airport for safety reasons.
“It’s a matter of need to save the lives of our people. The deterioration (of the airport) went on for a long time and it is now in such a deplorable state that it has to be closed to save the lives of our people.”
“The Governor said he and his colleagues were happy with the Minister not only for his “passion” but also for the assurance that the airport will be uplifted to meet “the Abuja International Airport standard.”
He also disclosed the nature of construction work that will be done, which will include reconstruction and extension of the runway and replacement of landing equipment with a better night landing installation.
“Other works like the cargo airport and the extension of the tarmac buildings that were damaged by rainstorm are also in the package. And the Minister assured us that two sets of contractors, including Julius Berger which we requested, have been shortlisted for the contract.
Chief Umahi said the Federal Government will also touch up the Sam Mbakwe airport in Owerri, Imo State, including barbed wire fencing, the tarmac, the and the buildings.
To meet the December deadline for the reconstruction of Enugu Airport, Governor Umahi said that a 24-hour operation will be mounted by the contractor to be engaged for the work.
On their own, Gov. Umahi said that States in the Region are arranging measures to ease the stress of air passengers who are now forced to use either Owerri or Asaba airports to travel.
Some of the States have already begun to implement the measures which include providing security cover for passengers between the airports and their capital cities, he said.
The comprehensive measures to protect passengers will be rolled out within a week, he said. x