Chief Willie Obiano, the Anambra State Governor, on Friday, inaugurated the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri community, Anambra East local government area of the state as the first set of flights landed at the airport.
The first 2 aircraft that landed on the facility were owned by Air Peace Airlines, which had its Chairman/Chief Executive, Allen Onyema, as the first passenger, while the third aircraft that landed at the new airport is a private jet owned by the Chairman of Nestoil, Ernest Obiejesi.
The airport has a four-story terminal building with shops, a ten-floor control tower and a car pack that can accommodate 750 vehicles. It has 3.7 kilometres runway which is the biggest in the country.
Governor Willie Obiano, who has been commended for achieving this great feat was delighted at the legacy project executed by his administration in record time, describing it as a dream come true.
He recalled that the journey by Anambra people to own an airport started 30 years ago by the administration in the state at that time, adding that the airport would expand the economic frontiers of the state and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of its people.
Obiano in his statement said, “The most interesting thing about this airport is that we did not borrow a Kobo to build it. This, in itself, is a record in leadership.
“Our dream for an airport started almost 30 years ago when the government of Anambra State acquired 530 hectares of land in Oba, Idemili South LGA with the intention of building an airport but that never materialised. That dream is fulfilled today.
We began the airport to expand the frontiers of excellence in Anambra State seven years ago. We announced that our mission was to make Anambra State the first choice in investment destination and a hub for economic and commercial activities.
And we also said that our mission was to create a socialist table where indigenes and non-indigenes alike will have opportunities for wealth creation. This airport is the fulfilment of our vision and mission statement.
It is difficult to create a new economic corridor without a functional international airport that will serve as a direct bridge between us and the world.”
The CEO of Air Peace, Chief Onyema, while expressing his delight at having his planes be the first to land at the airport which has the longest runway in the country, said that this is one of the fastest airports to be approved by the federal government and it is due to the quality of work done.
He was also confident that President Muhammadu Buhari will surely approve it as an international cargo and passenger airport, with the facility offering job opportunities to millions of people and also energizing the economy of Anambra in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The 3.7 kilometres runway is bigger than any other in the country and the wonderful thing was that it was built in a record time. I really shed tears of joy when I landed and may God bless Governor Obiano for this wonderful achievement.”