Set for a significant leap in aviation infrastructure, the Ebonyi State Government has announced that the Chuba Okadigbo International Airport in Onueke is gearing up for full flight operations by May 2024.
The completion of the crucial asphalt laying of the runway signifies a major milestone in the development of this aviation hub, poised to enhance connectivity and contribute to the economic growth of the region.
The State Commissioner for Aviation and Transport Technology, Mrs. Ngozi Obichukwu, disclosed this at the Presidential Lounge of the airport during an inspection of the Airport Runway.
She noted that the asphalting of the runway will soon be completed by the contractor.
She said, “We are making sure that the airways are safe, and the transporters that are using flight are equally safe. We commenced operations but we had a little challenge on the runway, where the airlines land and take off.
“We discovered that the runway needed to be asphalted because the flight does not require the concrete that we used.
“That’s why the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAN, requested us to change the runway pattern from concrete to asphalt. And the runway is being asphalted now. The governor is desirous to put the airport to perfect use and to make sure that Ebonyi is on the world map of travellers.
“We have finished scarification that will help to hold the asphalt. Technically, we are handling it. We thought that the project would be ready by August, but the way it is now, we are ready to start operation by May.
“The State Government has paid only 30 per cent of the payment based on the advance payment. We make sure that the funds we release to them are guaranteed by a reputable bank and this has made them kick off the project. And they are moving at a high pace, and we all are happy.
“When the runway is completed, the airport will be an economic hub, not only to Ebonyi state but to the entire South East region, and also, to Nigerians in diaspora.
“They will be accessing Nigeria through the Chuba Okadigbo’s international airport. We will allow Cameroon, Chad and other African countries to access Nigeria through Chuba Okadigbo’s international airport.
“We will equally allow them to use our cargo. We will be exporting goods and services that are worth exporting through Chuba Okadigbo’s international airport.”