Asaba Airport has handled 6,331 flights and 192,651 passengers as at the end of October 2013, two years after commencing commercial flight operations, according to data made available to THISDAY.
When the 18 flights and 63 passengers handled before commercial flights began are added, the total figures come 6,349 flights and 192,714 passengers.
With an average of 260 flights and 6,880 passengers recorded monthly, Asaba Airport has become one of the busiest and viable airports in the country. A breakdown of the data showed that the month of April 2011 when the Delta State capital hosted the second South-south Economic Summit recorded the highest flight of 401 while its 9,588 passengers was second to the 9,778 recorded in August 2013.
Speaking on the data, Delta State Commission for Information, Chike Ogeah, said the performance was unprecedented for a new airport, noting that it was only the beginning of the stunning growth that should be expected from the airport.
“Many people who did not see the vision of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan when he initiated the project in 2008 derided it as a ruse. Today, the status of the airport as ultra-modern with full navigational aids has been confirmed by the landing on Wednesday November 13 of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential jet at 11.30am on his way to Anambra State”, Ogeah stated.
The commissioner said the Asaba Airport was conceived as a strategic economic platform to open up not just Delta State but the neighbouring states in the south-east to the global business community, noting that with its designation as a cargo airport, it will become a hub for the export of agricultural and manufactured goods in the near future.
“In deciding to build the airport in Asaba, Uduaghan envisioned it as part of a concerted plan that involved the dualisation of the Ughelli-Asaba Road to link the seaports in Warri and Koko to the major commercial outposts in Onitsha and other towns in Anambra State. Today Asaba Airport has become the preferred destination for air travellers in Anambra and Imo states.”