Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Advert space

Endless remodeling of Port Harcourt Airport worries passengers, stakeholders

If you had landed at Port Harcourt International Airport during the take off of the facility’s remodeling in 2013 by the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah and landed again this week, you will begin to wonder if the infrastructure renewal was programmed to be endless.

A lot of passengers using the route who spoke to Business Hilights expressed anger over the apparent abandonment of works since 2013 simply because of change of government and some traces of weak political wills somewhere.

A passenger who pleaded anonymity decried the sustained rancor between the current state government and federal government because of political infighting that stemmed from the 2015 elections.

He said “I am pained whenever I use Port Harcourt in the last four years. It’s very annoying that an international airport is still looking like a rural village Moorpark”.

“Only the irritating site of endless construction activities will make you feel insecure either when you are taking off or landing.

He therefore called on the federal government to raise the speed of work at the airport so that the facility will take the shape of international airport it is.

Another passenger who declined to give his name said “I think it is the same scenario of negligence of federal infrastructures in Rivers State that is playing out on the major federal roads in the state. Look at the other road leading to the Port Harcourt refinery; it is as bad as the face of this airport and it is making us feel not being part of the federation. Let me tell you, am using this airport because I do not have any alternative.

Though the airport manager, Engineer C. A. Nwobu claimed in an interview work has resumed at the airport after long period of abandonment, he expressed happiness that the construction workers are back to site.

He said “We can argue about the speed of work which is an area I have been following up to ensure that some of the hurdles they have are removed so as to ensure quick competition. I can tell you and it is even wonderful that they are back to site; at least I can see them. Before, I wasn’t seeing anybody because it was abandoned.

Conducting our correspondent around, elated Nwobu said “This existing (main) building that we are staying is equally uncompleted. So when you are talking about rating, it was laughable because even where we are now is still uncompleted”.

“If you go up, you will see that they are still working. These are all challenges that really disturbed our operations and facilitation. Port Harcourt International Airport is one airport where everything is working operationally. There are lots of other things you are not seeing that make up the airport.

“For example, the runway is in perfect condition, the airfield lightings are in shape, the approaches, the Instrument Landing System (ILS), VOR are all in perfect condition. So we shouldn’t be looking at the buildings and all those things alone. Some people would even argue what makes an airport.

“As much as I believe that both are important, the most important things are those operational things that make an aircraft come in safely and take off. There is also a new international terminal, apart from this one. Before the end of the year, I am sure that project will be realized. “And by next year, the two terminals will be functional. Despite our pain, our gains will start coming and passenger will all be happy.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More