Enugu Govt to demolish illegal structures at Akanu Ibiam International Airport

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The Enugu State Government has assured the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that all illegal structures within the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be demolished in the next few weeks.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi gave the assurance during an assessment of the airport with the FAAN management on Wednesday.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, told newsmen that the governor had, therefore, asked FAAN to submit the operational areas covered by the airport to the government for appraisal.
According to him, any structure within that perimeter will be issued a one-week notice of demolition.
He said the plan to demolish the illegal structures was due to safety concerns and incursion of the airport runway which violates the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.
“Human habitation close to our airfields is a safety concern to us because of the heavy equipment and machinery that moves within that environment,” Yadudu said.
He explained that in the event of an aircraft overshooting the runway and other similar incidents, it was better to eliminate collateral damages by ensuring that human and commercial activities are restricted from such areas.
The FAAN boss also commended the governor for the relocation of the Oriemene Abattoir which was previously sited close to the runway.
“We want to express our profound appreciation and gratitude for doing just as you promised about the issue of the market place on the approach end of Runway 06.
“It was a very severe security hazard, safety risk and when you made the promise to relocate them, it was achieved in a timely manner,” he said.
Yadudu said FAAN was also working towards addressing the challenges of water scarcity at the airport, as well as the comprehensive rehabilitation of its runway, to make it safe for flight operations.
On the issue with the Enpower Enugu Free Trade Zone incursion into the airport, he explained that the matter had been resolved amicably following a series of meetings between FAAN, Enpower and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
He said the delineation of the area as agreed by the parties would begin in the next few weeks, stressing that FAAN was also working towards the certification of the airport as an international airport.
Also speaking, Mr Emeka Ene, Chief Executive Officer, Enpower Enugu Free Trade Zone, expressed appreciation that the issue had been resolved among the parties, to enable the industrial park project take off.
Ene said the project would help attract foreign investors to the state and give more life to the airport.
He said: “For example, one of the companies coming here is a German company which will directly employ close to 1,000 people and indirectly, up to 6,000.
“So. the airport becomes what it was supposed to be and not just for conveying domestic and international passengers but as a stimuli for industrial activities”.

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