General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati
By Ernest Chinwo
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said the difficulties encountered by travellers at the Port Harcourt International Airport would soon be over as the remodelling of the airport would soon be completed.
Travellers through the airport have been having series of problems following the construction work at the airport which started about 10 months ago.
Speaking to journalists after an inspection of work at the airport on Thursday, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said work at the airport would be completed in the next two months.
Dati expressed regret that the earlier scheduled completion date of December could not be met because of the unstable weather conditions and other difficulties faced by the contractors.
He however expressed satisfaction at the level of work at the site and said he was certain the project would be inaugurated within the next two months.
His words: “As you can see, there have been several factors that have affected the pace of work. Nature for instance: the rainy season and the weather have not permitted. But far and above everything is that Nigerians are happy that after about 40 years of no value added to the terminal, for us to wait another two months to get a world-class facility is a sacrifice that everybody is willing to make.
“I want to assure you that at the end of the day, we want to build a facility that will be a reference point for Africa; that when Africans come they will want to ask: have you seen Port Harcourt airport? That is where Nigeria has always been and we want to take Nigeria back there.”
He said the Port Harcourt International Airport was one of the 11 covered in the first phase of the remodelling and reconstruction of airports in Nigeria to bring them to world class standards.
According to him, “Port Harcourt particularly has been designated as an international hub, because in the aviation master plan, there is a clear demarcation and deliberate development of particular airports for specific purposes.
And because of the nature of Port Harcourt as a hub of activities, it is being developed specifically in the area of the export processing zone and free trade zone. This is to boost the activities that are already on ground, especially activities that have to do with conglomerates that are in oil-related businesses.