Prototype of the proposed airport in Ebonyi State
Ebonyi State International Cargo Airport is billed for test flight operation in seven days time. While on tour of the ongoing Airport with Daily Independent State Correspondent yesterday, Site Manager of the project, Engr. Frank Ngwu said that the Airport was ready for flight operations, “continuous flight “.
Ngwu, Special Assistant to the Governor David Umahi on Infrastructural Development explained that “We are ready for the test flight, as you can see, we are here at the runway, and you can see the level of the marking of the runway. We can say that 95 percent of the runway has been marked and it will be concluded in the next three days.
“The level of infrastructure that has been put in this place, you will be amazed at the level of modern equipment here, they are all made in Europe and the best and latest equipment in the aviation industry.
“You can see also that the terminal building that we have here is the single largest terminal building in Nigeria, our apron is also the single biggest apron in Nigeria, 133 thousand square meters. The International wing is 60, 000 square meters, the domestic wing apron is 60,000 square meters”.
He stated that “everything has been put in place like the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), the police post, and Immigration office has been fully completed. other buildings within the airport like substations, halls, the switch rooms they are all completed. The metrology equipment both those within and outside the airport have been installed”.
“I really commend the vision bearer of this project which is being constructed to be the best, and biggest in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Governor David Umahi has big heart, his quest for speedy development of his State and people as demonstrated here and around us is unprecedented.
“There are a lot of things that are to be justified above others in Ebonyi International Cargo Airport such as; our runway is the only rigid concrete runway in Nigeria, the thickness is 65cm, what it means is that even the biggest cargo aircraft can land here, there is this biggest cargo aircraft that has only landed in Nigeria once and it was banned from landing in Nigeria because it destroys the runways in the country which are on flexible pavement.
“With what we have here in terms of the size, and strength of our runway we can receive the biggest aircraft in the world”.
Ngwu said that with such big aircraft landing at the Ebonyi Airport, “it will make the price of goods to be cheaper here because what five or six aircrafts can carry it carries it at once utilizing the same amount of aviation fuel. We have a lot to show to the world when we start”.
As to why they are painting the runway which already on rigid pavement, he said ‘We are painting the runway with black beggar acrylic, the essence is to make the lines to be more visibility to the pilots and also it is a way of making the life span of the concrete more durable”.
“Though the airport is not 100 percent completed, it is still a project under construction and that does not mean that we are not ready to start. There are still other facilities for expansion that are ongoing like the taxiway that we are setting out now to commence which is just a surplusage. But because we are hopeful that with the level of infrastructure that we are putting in place, this place is going to be a beehive, it is going to be a subway where other African countries will be coming to land.”