Airplanes landed in Anambra State for the first time for test running of the Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, at Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area. In this special package, National Light reporters capture the special event, history and stories behind the airport, including the mood of the people. Enjoy it.
By Stanley Nwako
NEWLY built Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport was Friday, test run by Nigeria Aviation Authority.
The newly built airport received three demonstration flights as Anambra indigenes, guests and aviation community who were present at the airport cheered.
The airport, which was constructed in record time of 15 months is expecting both cargo and passenger traffic in the next couple of months.
The facility, awaiting commercial services, already has the runway, apron, control tower and fire infrastructure, among other critical infrastructure in place, except for the terminal that is near completion.
Speaking at the ceremony to welcome the flights, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, said the multi-billion naira project was strategic for the economy of Anambra, the South East region, and of Nigeria at large.
He said the airport project was the most audacious and “revolutionary” project ever embarked on by his administration and nearly completed in a 15-month record time.
Governor Obiano said: “We have risen above the global gloom and doom (of coronavirus pandemic)to bring this dream to reality. Anambra did not borrow a kobo to build this airport. We began this administration with the plan to become the first choice in investment destination and trade hub”.
“This airport fulfills that dream today, because it is difficult to create an international economic corridor without an airport. Very soon, our cargo and passenger services, both local and international, will make us one of the busiest airports in the country.”
Meanwhile, Air Peace has become the first airline to make flight to the new Anambra State Airport. At about 2:26p.m.on Friday, an Air Peace Boeing 737 aircraft made the inaugural landing, throwing the waiting audience into a frenzy. About 15 minutes later, another Air Peace Embraer 145 aircraft touched down, to a traditional water salute reception. As the audience was departing, a private jet also landed at the airport.
In his remarks, Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, said the landmark facility has the longest runway in the country, spanning 3.7km, with the capacity to receive the biggest air planes in the world.