The Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has commended Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra for embarking on a cargo airport project in the state.
A statement by Mr James Odaudu, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, said in Abuja on Tuesday that Sirika gave the commendation when he received the governor in his office.
The minister said that the airport project would have a positive impact on the economic development of Anambra State and the South East region as a whole.
He pledged that the Ministry of Aviation and its agencies would always give the necessary guide and cooperation to states embarking on such projects so as to enable the projects to meet international standards.
Sirika, who noted that airports could be viable if they were built with specific objectives in mind, expressed the hope that the cargo airport in Anambra would serve the interests of the trading population of the state and its environs.
He, nonetheless, 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 the airport were duly met.
The governor said that the Anambra International Cargo Airport at Umueri would be ready for inauguration in April 2021, adding that the state would be honoured if the minister could perform the task.
“We are sure of the date because we have the money to complete it. We are not asking for any assistance, nor are we taking any loans.
“I am here personally to brief you on the project and to invite you to commission it for us in April 2021,” he said
Obiano said that the decision to embark on the airport project was informed by the need to cater for the economic interests of the people of the state and its environs.
He said that the airport would have the second longest runway in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
“The airport is just few kilometres from Onitsha town, the economic nerve centre of the South East region. It is strategically located and it is a worthwhile investment,” he said.
He said that the construction of the airport was guided by recommendations and guidelines of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), so as to ensure that the airport met the best international standards.