Chairman of the newly constituted Board of the Ibom International Airport Development Company, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, has restated the resolve of the Board to ensure the completion of the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the airport.
Otuekong Nkanga stated this while conducting inspection of facilities and equipment at the airport with other members of the board. He expressed a belief that once completed and fully operational, the MRO as a foreign exchange spinner will cushion the effect of the dwindling oil revenue in the country.
In his words “The most important thing we want to do, we want to make the airport historic, because, why this airport was built, the crux of it was Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul. We believe that with the MRO working it can even take of this airport, maintain it and make money for government.”
Beyond the passenger services at the airport, Nkanga said, “Yes! We have enjoyed years of flying to Abuja and Lagos; we might be able to fly to other destinations including outside the country, but what this board will like to leave as history is the completion and operation of this Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility, we can then go into cargo and other things; it is a priority.”
While being hopeful that the airport can still live up to the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel, who had envisaged that the airport would begin international flights soon; the chairman noted that it is possible in the near future to have regular scheduled international flights.
“Well we have been operating internationally going for pilgrimage, but I am sure that the Governor was hoping that we will be able to do scheduled international flights. There are things to comply with. We need to talk to federal government on that… we need to upgrade some of our equipment so that we meet those international flights that are coming in. Once that is done, the rest is just routine.”
Other board members who joined the inspection were optimistic that the airport will fetch the state revenue once the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul facility was operational.
The Board members who were led round the airport by the Managing Director, Mrs. Johanna Swiegers, included Mrs. Gloria Etekamba Umoren (State Solicitor General); Elder Ufot Ebong (SSA on Technical Matters); Barr. Peter Linus Umoh; Barr Usenobong Akpabio; Mrs. Ima Mboho, and Obong Nsima Uwak.