After more than a year of closure for rehabilitation and reconstruction works, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu in southeastern Nigeria was reopened for operations on Sunday.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) shut down the airport on 24 August 2019 for repairs following outcry over its deplorable state, especially its runway.
Speaking during the official reopening on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said that the completion of work on the runway and the reopening of flight operations “was a promise kept.”
“With the airport reopening today, it is now open to local flights and on 5 September, international flights will resume as soon as we begin to allow them into the country,” the minister said.
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Willie Obiano of Anambra State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, was represented by his Deputy.
Speaking at the occasion, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said he never believed, “that what we are seeing today will happen.”
The repair works carried out at the airport include the rehabilitation of the runway, taxi way, perimeter road, fence, night landing equipment, ILS, emergency centre and pilot lounge.
Meanwhile, Air Peace on Sunday became the first commercial airline to land at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, after the completion of rehabilitation works at the airport runway.