The Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria has approved the request for the construction of a new International Airport in Ebonyi State.
Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika made this known in a letter signed on his behalf by the Director Safety and Technical Policy, Captain Alkali.
The details: According to the Minister, the approval followed the visit of a Technical team from the ministry and its agencies to the state on inspection of the proposed site for the airport.
“I am directed to convey the approval of the Honourable Minister of Aviation for the construction of a state-owned/financed International Airport on the inspected site” The statement reads.
While speaking on the approval, the minister stated that the airport is still subject to strict measures of compliance by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, environmental regulations, compliance with the provisions of the subsisting Civil Aviation Act of 2006, Nigeria Civil Aviation Policy of 2013 and payment of the stipulated fee.
Providing further details, the minister stated that the security clearance by the Department of State Services (DSS); involvement of Ministries at every stage of the development of the airport to ensure compliance with Standards and Recommend Practices (SARPs), as well as eradicating obstructions encountered on the site are other important requirements for the State Government to fulfill.
On the Airport location, it was disclosed that the Airport will be situated on a land bounding two communities together, the border of Ezza South and Ezza North local government areas.
This development comes after the shutdown of Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State, making the newly approved airport the only airport with international status in the Southeast.
What this means: Despite hosting two out of the top three market hubs (Aba, Abia State and Onitsha ) in the country, the Southeast region lacks a good airport to aid travelers’ movements and spur investment.
Recall, that the closure of the Enugu International Airport was recently announced by the government. According to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the closure was a result of bad runway and landing aids, the proximity of the airport to a nearby market, constant collision of birds with airplanes.
In the meantime, the new airport is expected to open neighboring states like Cross River and Benue in the region to development.