The Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has commended the Anambra State Government for embarking on a cargo airport project, a statement by Mr James Odaudu, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation said on Tuesday.
He said that the airport project would have a positive impact on the economic development of the state and the South East region as a whole.
Odaudu said the minister made the commendation when he received Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra in his office.
He quoted the minister as saying that the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its agencies would always give the necessary guide and cooperation to states embarking on such projects in order to ensure that all internationally set standards were met.
According to Sirika, airports can be viable if they are built with specific objectives in mind.
The minister said he believed that the Anambra airport would be successful in serving the interests of the trading population of the state and environs.
He 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 airports were met.
Earlier, Obiano is quoted as saying that Anambra International Cargo Airport, located at Umueri would be ready for commissioning in April 2021 and that the state would be honoured to have Sirika 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.”
Obiano told the minister that the decision to embark on the airport project was informed by the need to cater to the economic interests of the state and its environs.
The airport, he said, has the second-longest runway in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
“The airport is just a few kilometres from Onitsha town, the economic nerve centre of the south-east region. It is strategically located and is a worthwhile investment.”
According to the governor, the construction of the airport has been guided by recommendations and guidelines of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to meet the best international standards.