The Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, located in Umueri, Anambra East local government area, was inaugurated yesterday by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, amid pomp and pageantry.
People from all walks of life witnessed the historic event, and even those who questioned the state government’s ability to carry out the project praised Obiano for accomplishing such a great feat.
The airport has a four-story terminal building with shops, a ten-story control tower, and a car pack with 750 parking spaces. It has a 3.7-kilometer run way, making it the longest in the country.
Three planes landed on the airport’s grounds during the inaugural ceremony.
The first passenger to land was Chief Allen Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airlines, whose two aircraft were the first to land at the new airport, while another private jet said to belong to the chairman of Obijackson Group, Chief Ernest Obiejesi, also touched down while the inaugural ceremonies were still underway.
The first plane, a 5N-BUJ Air Peace plane, landed at exactly 2:25 p.m., while the second plane, a 5N-BVD Air Peace plane, landed around 2:45 p.m.
Governor Willie Obiano, who was elated at the legacy project executed by his administration in a record time described project as a dream come true.
He recalled that the journey by Anambra people to own an airport began 30 years ago by the administration in the state then, adding that the airport would expand the economic frontiers of the state and improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of its people.
Obiano 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 fulfillment 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 said he was delighted to have his planes as the first to land at the airport which has the longest runway in the country. It’s a 3.7 kilometer runway. He said his first visit to the project was indeed an eye opener that a determined administration could achieve whatever it means to achieve.
Onyema said: “This is one of the fastest airports to be approved by the federal government and it is due to quality of work done. What we have is the widest runway ever in Nigeria and it can land Airforce380, which is the largest aircraft. This is the first time an airline in Nigeria will be doing test run with Boing 737.
“The president will surely approve it as an international cargo and passenger airport and it will offer job opportunities to millions of people and it is going to energize the economy of Anambra in particular and Nigeria in general.
The 3.7 kilometers 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.”