The Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri community, Anambra East local government area was, yesterday, inaugurated by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano amidst pump and pageantry.
People from all walks of life witnessed the epoch making event and even those who doubted the ability of the state government to executive the project commended Obiano for achieving the great feat.
The airport has a four-storey terminal building with shops, a ten floor control tower and a car pack that can accommodate 750 vehicles. It has 3.7 kilometers run way and it is bigger than any other run way bin the country.
During the inaugural ceremony which took place at the airport premises, three aircraft landed on the facility.
The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airlines, Chief Allen Onyema, whose two aircraft were the first to land at the new airport was the first passenger to land, while another private jet said to belong to the chairman of Obijackson Group, Chief Ernest Obiejesi also touched down while the inaugural ceremonies were still on.
The first plane, an Air Peace aircraft, marked 5N-BUJ landed at exactly 2:25pm while the second one marked 5N-BVD landed at about 2:45pm.
Governor Willie Obiano, who was elated at the legacy project executed by his administration in a record time described project as a dream come true.
He recalled that the journey by Anambra people to own an airport began 30 years ago by the administration in the state then, adding that the airport would expand the economic frontiers of the state and improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of its people.
Obiano said: "The most interesting thing about this airport is that we did not borrow a Kobo to build it. This, in itself, is a record in leadership.
"Our dream for an airport started almost 30 years ago when the government of Anambra State acquired 530 hectares of land in Oba, Idemili South LGA with the intention of building an airport but that never materialised. That dream is fulfilled today.
"We began the airport to expand the frontiers of excellence in Anambra State seven years ago. We announced that our mission was to make Anambra State the first choice in investment destination and a hub for economic and commercial activities.
"And we also said that our mission was to create a socialist table where indigenes and non indigenes alike will have opportunities for wealth creation. This airport is the fulfillment of our vision and mission statement.
"It is difficult to create a new economic corridor without a functional international airport that will serve as a direct bridge between us and the world."
The CEO of Air Peace, Chief Onyema said he was delighted to have his planes as the first to land at the airport which has the longest runway in the country. It's a 3.7 kilometer runway.
He said his first visit to the project was indeed an eye opener that a determined administration could achieve whatever it means to achieve.
Onyema said: "This is one of the fastest airports to be approved by the federal government and it is due to quality of work done. What we have is the widest runway ever in Nigeria and it can land Airforce380, which is the largest aircraft. This is the first time an airline in Nigeria will be doing test run with Boing 737.
"The president will surely approve it as an international cargo and passenger airport and it will offer job opportunities to millions of people and it is going to energize the economy of Anambra in particular and Nigeria in general. The 3.7 kilometers runway is bigger than any other in the country and the wonderful thing was that it was built in a record time. I really shed tears of joy when I landed and may God bless Governor Obiano for this wonderful achievement."
Vanguard News Nigeria