A'ibom plans 10 aircraft to expand Ibom Air's fleet
As part of efforts to dominate the air space, the Akwa Ibom State Government has disclosed of plan to add 10 new aircraft to the fleet of the state-owned Ibom Airlines Limited.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, said this during a broadcast to the people of the state yesterday, to mark his seven years in office.
The airline which already has five Bombardier aircraft and two Airbuses has become a toast of the county's aviation industry since it commenced commercial operations three years ago.
He noted that the establishment of Ibom Air had become a testament to the creativity and strategic planning of the present administration in the state.
"Today, Ibom Air with a fleet of seven aircraft, comprising 5 CRJ 900 Bombardier series and two brand new Airbuses A300-220 series with ten more brand new Airbuses soon to be added to its fleet, has raised the profile of our state, and has made the ease of doing business in our state, appealing.
"It has provided jobs to hundreds of our people. Our youths are being trained in aircraft maintenance and in flying schools to become commercial pilots. Ibom Air represents and has made manifest the biblical assertion that 'when men are cast down, then thou shalt say, there is lifting up.'
"We are embarking on total aviation development. Our MRO, (Maintain, Repair and Overhaul) facility is 85 per cent complete. Once commissioned, hopefully by October this year, this facility will again create jobs for our people and bring in foreign exchange to our state," he said.
The Victor Attah International Airport Terminal, with a capacity to process at least one million passengers a year, the governor said would be the smartest and most intelligent in the country when commissioned.
"With the capacity to process over one million passengers a year, and fitted with the most current technology available, The Akwa Ibom Airport is poised to make our state an aviation hub in the Gulf of Guinea.
"This facility has also provided hundreds of jobs to our teeming youths, and once completed, would add hundreds more, thus fulfilling one of the central campaign promises we made: Job creation. Our Taxiway, the longest in the nation's aviation space, will soon be commissioned.
"There is no doubt that in seven years, the story of our growth in the aviation sector is being written in golden lines and more chapters will be added. We should feel proud of this huge achievement," he explained.
He warned against toxic comments and actions that could pitch the people against themselves and impact negatively on the prevailing peace in the state.
"As the political season dawns on us, I wish to urge our political stakeholders and our youths not to poison the waters of our unity with toxic political rhetoric or to engage in violence.
"I will never be tired of repeating this line that politics will come and politics will go, but the soul and the essence of the Akwa Ibom enterprise will remain an abiding spirit and letter of our collective engagements. Let us eschew violence and embrace the understanding that in any political contest, there must be a winner and the winner should reach out and embrace the side that didn't win.
"Winners have emerged, and I urged our people to line up behind the people who have been nominated to continue pushing the levers of development of our state and ensure that the gains we have made in the last seven years are not frittered away.
"Akwa Ibom has been an oasis of peace and tranquility, the fundamentals of growth are rock-solid, all over the nation, and people are wondering how we were able to achieve such spectacular successes across sectors.", the governor stated.