The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has pleaded with Governor Hope Uzodinma to assist it in completing the cargo operations terminal and increasing the runway of the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, from 2,700 to 3,000 metres, and the width from 45 to 60 metres.
The FAAN boss regretted the challenges posed to the industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that the development had necessitated re-strategising in the period to come.
Responding, Uzodinma promised to help the agency actualiase the standardisation of the airport to enhance economic activities in the state and beyond.The governor said he was convinced way back as chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation that the sector should be run professionally.
Uzodimma told Yadudu that he was much willing to get the airport fully off the ground in terms of facilities standardization and upgrade. “We both have job to do,” he said, urging the FAAN boss to oblige him with the status report on the cargo airport that ought to define where the place is now in terms of what has been done; so that he can be properly guided.
Construction of the Imo Airport, near Owerri, began in the early 1980s under late civilian governor, Sam Mbakwe, but operation began in 1994. The state government built the air terminal and handed it over to the federal government to be managed by FAAN.