By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has announced that Turkish Airlines will Monday commence international flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport.
This is as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that the state government will make critical interventions at the Port Harcourt International Airport to improve the international acceptance of the facility.
Addressing Wike during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt Monday, the new General Manager of FAAN for South-south and South-east region, Mr Felix Akinbinu, said the maiden international flight of Turkish Airlines would land at the Port Harcourt International Airport Monday.
While commending the airline for expanding its route in Nigeria to include the Port Harcourt International Airport, Akinbinu appealed to the Rivers State governor to assist in the dualisation of the access road to the airport and the reconstruction of the VIP Lounge
He said the Port Harcourt and Kano International Airports were being posted for aerodrome certification, adding that the airport requires the assistance of the Rivers State Government.
In his response, Wike expressed happiness that Turkish Airlines would commence international flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport.
He said the Rivers State Government was committed to making the Port Harcourt International Airport the destination of choice in the country.
He said: “I will dualise the access road to the Airport from the Owerri Road Junction into the airport. I will also reconstruct the road leading to the VIP Lounge at the Airport.
“The state government will also demolish the existing VIP Lounge and construct a befitting Lounge. The new lounge will be a storey building. You have made these requests, which I have granted.”
Wike said that in addition to dualising the access road to the airport, the Rivers State Government would install streetlights on the road.
The governor called on the federal government to complete the construction of the Domestic Terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
“In the beginning, I pleaded that I be allowed to intervene in the completion of the Local Terminal of the airport, but they declined because of politics. Why can’t they complete the construction of the local terminal. Is it because it is Rivers State?” He asked.
He urged the authorities to forget political considerations and complete the local terminal in the interest of Rivers people and other users of the facility.