Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, has commended the Anambra State government for embarking on a cargo airport project that will positively impact on the economic development of the state and the South East region as a whole.
According to Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation James Odaudu, the Minister gave the commendation when he received the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano in his office.
Hesaid the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its agencies would always give the necessary guide and cooperation to states embarking on such projects in order to ensure that all internationally-set standards were met.
According to Sirika, “airports can be viable if they are built with specific objectives in mind” and expressed the belief that “the Anambra airport will be successful in serving the interests of the trading population of the state and environs.”
He advised the Governor to sustain the ongoing collaboration with the regulatory authorities to ensure that all regulations and guidelines for the construction and operation of airports were met.
Earlier, Governor Willie Obiano had said that Anambra International Cargo Airport, located at Umueri, would be ready for inauguration in April 2021 and that the state would be honoured to have him perform the task.
“We are sure of the date because we have the money to complete it. We are not asking for any assistance, neither are we taking any loans. I am here personally to brief you on the project and to invite you to inaugurate it for us in April 2021.”
Obiano told the Minister that the decision to embark on the airport project was informed by the need to cater to the economic interests of the state and its environs.
The airport, he said, had the second-longest runway in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, built with the best available materials, with a guaranteed lifespan of 100 years.
“The airport is just a few kilometres from Onitsha town, the economic nerve centre of the south-east region. It is strategically located and is a worthwhile investment,” he said.
According to the Governor, the construction of the airport had been guided by recommendations and guidelines of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as it hoped to meet the best international standards.