… Traditional rulers extol govt
By Stanley Nwako and Nneka Anoliefo
NEWLY built Anambra International Airport was Friday, test runned by Nigeria Aviation Authority.
The newly built airport received three demonstration flights as Anambra indigenes, guests and aviation community who were present at the airport cheered.
The airport, which was constructed in record time of 15 months is expecting both cargo and passenger traffic in the next couple of months.
The facility, awaiting commercial services, already has the runway, apron, control tower and fire infrastructure, among other critical infrastructure in place, except for the terminal that is near completion.
Speaking at the ceremony to welcome the flights, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, said the multi-billion naira project was strategic for the economy of Anambra, the South East region, and of Nigeria at large.
He said the airport project was the most audacious and “revolutionary” project ever embarked on by his administration and nearly completed in a 15-month record time.
Governor Obiano said: “We have risen above the global gloom and doom (of coronavirus pandemic)to bring this dream to reality. Anambra did not borrow a kobo to build this airport. We began this administration with the plan to become the first choice in investment destination and trade hub”.
“This airport fulfills that dream today, because it is difficult to create an international economic corridor without an airport. Very soon, our cargo and passenger services, both local and international, will make us one of the busiest airports in the country.”
Meanwhile, Air Peace has become the first airline to make flight to the new Anambra State Airport. At about 2:26p.m.on Friday, an Air Peace Boeing 737 aircraft made the inaugural landing, throwing the waiting audience into a frenzy. About 15 minutes later, another Air Peace Embraer 145 aircraft touched down, to a traditional water salute reception. As the audience was departing, a private jet also landed at the airport.
In his remarks, Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, said the landmark facility has the longest runway in the country, spanning 3.7km, with the capacity to receive the biggest air planes in the world.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers in Anambra State have eulogised Gov. Willie Obiano for the successful completion of the International Passenger Cargo Airport, describing the project as a no mean feat.
The traditional rulers said this during the test-run of flights that took place on April 30, at Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area.
Addressing journalists shortly after the event, Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, said Anambra made another historic mark by taking another bold step toward a launch of the state and country into higher economic spheres.
Igwe Achebe described the airport project as one of the remarkable things that had happened to ndi Anambra, assuring the state government of their royal blessings and support.
Other traditional rulers said that the airport was a dream come true, placing it as one of the best in the Africa continent.
They expressed joy over the success of the airport project, hinting that ndi Anambra could now start making use of the airport.