The Technical Assistant at the Ekiti State Cargo International Airport, AVM Adeniyi Ojuawo (retd) has declared that commercial flight operations in and out of the airport would commence by October this year.
The airport which had its test flight on the 3.2 km runaway in October 2022 under the administration of former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has generated a series of controversies lately over the delay in its operation.
Speaking with newsmen at the airport site, Ojuawo explained that work has reached an advanced stage towards the delivery of the project by the contractors, which he said would enhance the socio-economic development of the state.
The House of Representatives member-elect for Ise-Orun/Ikere/Ekiti South West federal constituency denied insinuations that the project has been abandoned by the administration of Governor Biodun Oyebanji, saying that the governor is committed to the completion and usage of the airport project.
He maintained that major equipment and facilities needed in the airport in line with the global best standard are being put in place, including discussions with leading Nigeria airlines ahead of the October date set for the commercial operations.
According to him, prominent citizens of the state including the founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti(ABUAD) Aare Afe Babalola have expressed readiness to support the speedy completion of the project in the interest of the development of the state.
Ojuawo stated that the standard and specifications of the project were conceptualized for passengers-cargo airlift and landing with the capacity to accommodate the biggest aircraft of Boeing 747 and others.
While reiterating the importance of the airport to the state, the retired military officer said the state would soon see the vision and creativity of the former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi in bringing to fruition what has long been desired by stakeholders in the state.
He said, “We are happy that journalists are here to see for themselves what is happening at the airport and you can see contractors are working day and night to deliver the first face of the project to the admiration of the former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who is doing everything possible, even outside office in seeing to the success of the laudable project.
“Anyone that is not here cannot believe the level of work the airport has reached. As you can see, the passengers’ terminal building is nearing perfection; the control tower will be delivered soon, meteorological garden completed, among other progress made on the airport project.
“Our people both at home and abroad have shown readiness to support the airport towards delivering a world-class project. Baba Afe Babalola is top of the list and a series of commitments had been made which people will begin to see any moment from now.
“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 breadth, the work here will continue. Don’t forget recently, President Buhari commissioned a project at the airport in Lagos, you can remember when that airport was opened.
“The state governor, Biodun Oyebanji has given us go ahead to deliver it by October this year for passenger operation and it will be done because we are already talking to airlines in the country and everything will soon be finalized. This project has come to stay and we will soon see the results of the vision of former governor, Fayemi.”