New A’Ibom Airport Terminal to process one million passengers yearly

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The World class, new terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo would have the capacity to process at least one million passengers yearly and is billed for completion in 2022.

State commissioner for Special Duties Chief Okpolupum Etteh who made this known to newsmen on Thursday in Uyo also said that the all automated terminal building with a sitting capacity for 1,000 persons is designed after Istanbul’s latest airport terminal in Turkey.

Construction work was delayed by the COVID-19 lockdown but the Commissioner said that the government was comfortable with the speed of work which is now expected to be completed in the next 12 months adding that provision has been made for further expansion.
“If not for COVID-19, we were looking at completing this project by December this year but now, we are looking at the middle of next year, there is nothing we can do. Even the roofing sheets, we are still expecting them from Turkey.

“But so far, so good we are very okay, but you know, even when you finish, you still need one or two months to test run all the electrical facilities before handing over.

“But there are some few things that we have here in the terminal that they don’t have at the terminal in Istanbul, Turkey. Virtually every thing here is going to be automated, even the lifts, the escalators, that is what makes this building a smart building.

“This terminal is designed to process a minimum of one million passengers a year. It has a sitting capacity of 1,000.

“The building is divided into two, one way is domestic, the other way is International. We have Immigration, we have customs, we have duty free shops, everything you have in an international airport.” He explained.

The Commissioner expressed optimism that with the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, MRO facility at the airport, it would soon become the aviation hub for the region.

He said the airport would soon commence International commercial flights as soon as the two additional aircrafts purchased by Ibom Air for that purpose arrives the state.

“This building is not only for domestic operations, we are looking at it becoming a regional hub, so there is going to be a lot of employment here, and there will be a lot of revenue for the Akwa Ibom State Government.

“We have so many projects around here. We are also working on the inside of the MRO for the completion of the MRO.

“Aviation is one investment that will bring so much investment and revenue to the state.
That is why we just procured the brand new aircraft that is about to arrive, those ones will do International flights within the sub region.” Okpolupum stated.

Also speaking, Mr Onur Uzel, the Project Manager of VKS Nigeria, the construction company handling the terminal building project, affirmed that the project was delayed due to COVID-19.

Uzel added that Turkey, where some of the materials for the construction was sourced from, recently removed the restriction on movement occasioned by the pandemic.

“We have done a lot of work in Europe and Africa, but I am sure that this would be the most amazing one when we finish. It will be landmark not only for the State but for Nigeria.

“We are going to use the latest technology not only in terms of mechanical and electrical, but also smart VHS handling system, advanced VGL ducking system.” He explained.

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