Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Completion Agenda has ranked Akwa Ibom state as the foremost in aviation industry within the West Africa sub region, with the commissioning of the only Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, MRO, Facility at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo.
Also commissioned was a smart International Terminal Building and a parallel taxiway with rapid exits and apron extension.
Commissioning the MRO, Nigeria’s former Senate President, and two times governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, expressed delight over such unparalleled feats by a State in the aviation industry, affirming Governor Udom Emmanuel as a visionary leader.
According to him, the setting up of Nigeria’s most sought after airline, Ibom Air, constructing an MRO, smart terminal building and a parallel taxiway with a capacity of an alternative runway, indicates Governor Emmanuel’s thoughtfulness towards sustainability and job creation for the youths and prosperous future for the state.
Decrying Nigeria’s loss for not being a player in the aviation industry, Senator Saraki called on the federal government to support the Akwa Ibom venture, proposing that all airlines operating in Nigeria should patronize the Akwa Ibom MRO.
At the International Terminal Building, Governor Udom Emmanuel affirmed that the building, equipped with hi-tech components, stands out as the smartest in the region.
He acknowledged that the projects inaugurated were part of his administration’s total approach to aviation development, adding that though the project was done with the planned expansion of Ibom Air in mind, the facilities in the airport remain open to all other airlines and investors.
Former Governor of the State, Arch. (Obong) Victor Attah, who initiated the Akwa Ibom airport project, described the MRO as a money spinner for the state and extolled Governor Emmanuel for making the state’s aviation dream come to fruition.
Also, the Governor-elect, Pastor Umo Eno, promised a deviation from normal in Nigeria where most magnificent edifices are usually left to rot, pledgeding to ensure maintenance and expansion of the facilities and other projects initiated by the present administration.
In an overview of the projects, the Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air Captain Mfon Udom, recalled that Nigeria has been making efforts to get an MRO since 1978 but never succeeded, adding that with the completion of the MRO in Uyo, Ibom Air is saved from the long wait and hassles of getting its aircraft maintained in foreign countries.
With a 12160 square metre of hangar space, Captain Udom affirmed that the MRO has the capacity to simultaneously accommodate 8 A220, climated controlled, two Boeing 747-400s side by side or four B737/A320 aircrafts.
For the records, the International Terminal Building, another world class aviation masterpiece by Governor Emmanuel, is a 3-floor edifice sitting on a total area of about 28,500m2, measuring 183m in length, 117m in width and a height of 14.5m, with 4 escalators, seven lifts and staircases for ease of movement within the facility and five boarding bridges each with a lift and staircase. It has a capacity to process 1.5 million passengers annually in a 12 hour daily work shift and 3 million in a 24 hour shift.