Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Two aircraft belonging to Air Peace will be the first to land at the new Ebonyi International Airport for its maiden test-flight scheduled for Thursday.
This is as the State Government on Tuesday, said “all is now set” for the test flight of the state-of-the-art airport located in Onueke, Ezza South Local Government Area.
Governor David Umahi stated this while speaking with Journalists after the State Executive Council Meeting on Tuesday.
The Governor noted that the two flights of 80 persons capacity each would take off from Abuja and Lagos to land in the airport.
The Governor noted that the flights would carry a delegation from the Federal Government for the opening ceremony.
“It will also carry some of our people from the two cities who are visiting the state. After the ceremony it will also take the Federal Government delegation and others traveling back,” Umahi said.
The Governor did not give details of those who will be in the delegation but it is expected that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, will be on the entourage.
The airport is part of the legacy projects of the Governor David Umahi administration to be commissioned.
Others include the Iyere bridge said to be the longest flyover bridge in the South-East and the King David Umahi University.
Site Manager of the project, Engr. Frank Ngwu noted the airport has the largest terminal in the country.
He said the airport has the single largest terminal building in Nigeria.
“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.”
Mr Nwgu noted that the runway is the thickest in the country at 65cm concrete pavement meaning that the biggest cargo aircraft in the world can land on it.
“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 because what five or six aircraft can carry it carries it at once utilising the same amount of aviation fuel.
“We have a lot to show to the world when we start,” he added.