The federal government has released N1.7billion for continuation of construction work at the international wing of Akanu Ibiam Int’l Airport, Enugu. Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika said this yesterday while compelling property owners around the airport to relocate or lose them.
The Minister, who stated this after an inspection tour of facilities at the airport, told Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that the money for the Airport would be made available when the 2018 budget was released for completion work, declaring that the legal structures around the airport a threat to the airport security and a hindrance to the realization of “international status’ of the airport.
Explaining that government was determined to realize the completion of the airport in record time, the Minister said that full international flight would only commence with the removal and relocation of several property obstructing the runway, security and flight operations.
He said: “Government decided to expand the runway from 2.5 kilometer to 3 kilometers to accommodate more international flights and cargoes, but stopped midway because people built within 100 meters on the runway. We need to dam the river to enable us use the water to service the airport.
The Orie emene market is a security threat. There is an abattoir in the market that attracts vultures which portends danger to flights. “There is a road leading the Very High Frequency Omni -Directional Radio Range (VOR) which is in terrible state.
It functions 24 hours because it guides pilots in their flights. Without this, this airport cannot be operated. The road is 1.5 kilometers and we need to build it because it is impassible during the rainy season.”