The international terminal of the Port Harcourt Airport is billed to be completed in 2016.
This is according to the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, during a visit to the airport in the Rivers State capital on Thursday.
Mr Dunoma said that the structure that houses the domestic wing was meant to be temporary, but efforts were being doubled up to ensure that befitting international airports are delivered in Port Harcourt and other parts of the country.
The FAAN officials paid a visit to the airport for a spot assessment of the state of the airport which had recently been rated as one of the worst in the world.
As construction work continues at the international terminal of the airport, passengers would continue to hope for a more befitting structure in the coming months.
Lawmakers in Nigeria’s House of Representatives had decided to investigate the poor rating of Nigeria’s airport even after over 400 billion Naira was budgeted and spent for the expansion, modernization and management of 17 domestic and five international airports.
The modernization was carried out by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
At plenary on Wednesday, the lawmakers said the investigation would unravel why Nigerian airports were being rated poorly internationally.
The decision followed a motion by Honourable Garba Datti, on the need to understand the factors that have led to the inclusion of three of Nigeria’s airports in a list of 10 worst airports in the world, as contained in an international survey.
The House is also to look into the $1 billion dollars Chinese loan obtained by former President Jonathan’s administration for modernization and remodelling of the airports.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) faulted the recent survey which rated the Port Harcourt International Airport as the worst airport in the world.
This was in a statement issued two days ago in Lagos by Mr. Yakubu Dati, FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs.
Before this, The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the ranking by SleepingInAirports.net rated the Port Harcourt International Airport as “the dirtiest and most corrupt airport in Africa.”
In its statement, FAAN said: “Our stand is that the said ranking was unfounded as it did not take cognisance of the fact that the airport terminal was still undergoing remodeling.
“Some of its terminal operations are still conducted in a temporary structure.” The statement pointed out that the existing domestic terminal, from which both international and local flights were conducted, was undergoing remodeling.
“Apart from this, construction work is also in progress at the site of the new international terminal.
“We believe that operations at such an airport where construction work is going on simultaneously with normal flight and related operations cannot be as conducive as in those airports where there are no ongoing construction projects.
“Neither can environments at such different scenarios be equally clean, the statement added.