The former technical adviser on the Ekiti State Cargo International Airport, Air Vice Marshal Adeniyi Ojuawo (retd), said on Tuesday that commercial operations at the airport would start in October.
Ojuawo who is a member-elect of the House of Representatives, hinted that the runway of the airport, initiated during the tenure of former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, had undergone testing with a test flight. He also stated that other planes had successfully landed and taken off at the facility.
According to The Punch, Ojuawo said this during a conversation with journalists at the airport where he also revealed that the state governor, Biodun Oyebanji, had given the approval to complete the project by October 2023 for passenger operation.
He further commented, “As it is, it can take daylight, good weather flights. We are already talking to airlines in the country and everything will soon be finalised. This project has come to stay and we will soon see the results of the vision of the former governor, Dr Fayemi.”
He also dismissed suggestions in certain statements that the airport was unnecessary, a waste of resources, and subsequently abandoned by Oyebanji. He stressed that the airport would contribute to the “socio-economic development” of the state.
In the words of Ojuawo, “The airport will bring about transformation. As a cargo airport, it will help this state and its neighbours being agrarian areas. It will open the state to the international market. It will as well create employment opportunities and as well attract numerous developments.
“Contractors are working day and night to deliver the first phase of the project to the admiration of the former governor, Fayemi, who is doing everything possible, even outside the office in seeing to the success of the laudable project. Major equipment and facilities needed in the airport are being put in place in line with international standards.”
According to him, those who are not in the state would find it hard to understand the extent of progress achieved at the airport. As evident, the construction of the passengers’ terminal building is approaching its final stages, the delivery of the control tower is imminent, the meteorological garden has been finished, and various other advancements have been made in relation to the airport project.
“We heard a lot of things, but the truth of the matter is, anywhere in the world, airport construction is not like a residential building that you can finish in one breath, the work here will continue. Don’t forget recently, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a project at the airport in Lagos, you can remember when that airport was opened,” he stated.