The Federal Government had on Friday approved the request of Ebonyi State for the construction of a new international airport. This followed a request for the approval of the airport by the state government which would be cited at Onueke-Oriuzor, a boundary between Ezza South and Ezza North local government areas.

In a letter conveyed by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika to the state Governor, David Umahi yesterday, the approval follows the visit of a Technical team from the ministry and its agencies to the state on inspection of the proposed site for the airport.

The letter signed by the Director Safety and Technical Policy of the Ministry, Capt. T A Alkali on behalf of the minister, however noted that the approval is subject to the State Government’s fulfilment of certain requirements. He listed the requirements as “strict compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority requirements; compliance with all relevant environmental regulations”.

Also, adherance to the provisions of the subsisting Civil Aviation Act 2006, Nigeria Civil Aviation Policy 2013 and other regulations that may evolve with time; and payment of statutory fees. Other requirements according to the Minister include: Issuance of Security Clearance from the Department of State Services(DSS); removal of all obstructions on the site and involvement of the Ministry and its relevant agencies at every stage of the development of the airport to ensure compliance with Standards and Recommend Practices (SARPs).

With the approval all is now set for the smooth take-off of the construction of the airport. This approval is coming at a time when the only international airport in the South East, Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu has been shut down indefinitely for repairs of the infrastructure including the runway.

A member of the House of Representatives Committee representing Ezza South Federal Constituency, Hon. Lazarus Ogbee has applauded the Federal government for approving the construction of international cargo airport by the Ebonyi State government. He stated that the project is expected to spur economic growth in the state.

In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the lawmaker noted that he was delighted on the approval of the airport by the Federal government.

In his words, “I want to deeply convey my heartfelt congratulations to Ebonyi state government under the leadership of Governor David Umahi for making our dear state a shining example to all”.

“With the standard with which Governor Umahi is known for in all his projects, I have no doubt that the airport will be one of the best International Airport in Nigeria. The project will also advance economic opportunities and growth of not only the host communities but the entire state,” Ogbee said.