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Wednesday, July 8, 2020


By Glory James

Victor Attah International Airport (VAIA), an architectural masterpiece, plays a pivotal role in the economic development of Akwa Ibom State.  The Airport, which sits on a large expanse of land that covers Okobo, Uruan and Nsit Atai Local Government Areas, was named after the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah. In fact, the concept and design of the Airport was done by him. His successor, Senator Godswill Akpabio rolled the infrastructure that kick-start flight operation. Today, Governor Udom Emmanuel has prioritized the Airport because of its socio-economic importance to the overall development of Akwa Ibom State.

This priority, which has become a boost to the nation’s aviation sector and Internally Generated Revenue of the state, has attracted high traffic to the Airport. The launch of the state’s own carrier, Ibom Air, 10 months ago, is another success story of the Udom Emmanuel’s administration. This feat has made the administration to upgrade infrastructure at the Airport to international status. The administration, through the Ministry of Special Duties, is constructing an International Terminal Building, parallel Taxiway with rapid exits and expanded Apron, among others.

The International Terminal Building started on July 29, 2019 with soil testing. The actual construction work started on October 16, 2019. The Building will aid, now and in future, the effective handling of the rising volume of traffic; ease mobility as well as make for convenience of inbound and outbound passengers and tourists. It will also help to provide spacious accommodation for more airlines, shopping and restaurant.

From its design, the Building is a state-of-the-art facility with strict compliance to international standards, set and monitored by International bodies like, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These standards assess facility provisions, terminal and apron planning as well as safety and security.

The Building spans about 183M in length, 117M in width and stands 14.5M high with a total area of 23,000M (approximately). It is a three-floor Building comprising the International and domestic wings. The ground floor is the Check-in Concourse; the first floor is for Arrival while the second floor is the Departure area. It has four Escalators, Seven Lifts and Staircases for ease of movement within the facility. Additionally, each of the six Boarding Bridges has a Lift and staircase. The Building has the capacity to handle future demands of passengers with a flexible and adaptable framework that can respond to the increase in Air Traffic Movement (ATM) per hour within the next 10 years forecasted to reach a maximum of 1,166,045 movements by 2029.

Construction work at the International Terminal Building, handled by a Turkish construction company, VKS Construction Company Limited, has achieved critical milestone and is currently at the second floor level. The Building, when completed, will commence with one Code-F and four Codes-C stands on the Apron, 5 Air Bridges and a Bus Gate to serve remote stands. The airport will serve both domestic and international passengers and will allow direct flight connection amongst States and major destinations around the world.

The rating of Akwa Ibom State as a choice destination, economic and industrial hub, and a safe haven for investors will, indeed, be further boosted at the completion of this Building. The people of Akwa Ibom State, who are peace loving and hospitable, have embraced Governor Udom Emmanuel’s laudable stride in the aviation sector.

Press Unit
Ministry of Special Duties


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