Tuesday, January 07, 2020 /3:36 PM / By FDC / Header Image Credit: The Nigerian Voice
The capital of Delta state in Nigeria is once again ready to receive international flights after getting approval from the federal government.
The Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated that the airport had met government requirements and that the government wanted no further delays in the commencement of flights.
Asaba is situated around 500 kilometers east of Lagos and had an airport for a long time, but poor infrastructure drove many to patronize the Benin City export instead.
The airport's official purpose is to connect Asaba locals to the rest of Nigeria, but many consider it to be a vanity project started by the previous governor.
As of 2013, Asaba Airport serviced an average of 6,880 passengers per month on 260 flights.
In 2015, however, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority downgraded the airport's capacity over concerns of inadequate infrastructure.
The lack of a perimeter fence, poor personnel training and a rundown runway meant that larger aircraft like the 737 could no longer safely use the airport.
The following year, work commenced on restoring the runway to a decent condition.
The runway is 3.4 kilometers long, theoretically capable of receiving a 747 aircraft.
It has been an eventful short life for Asaba International Airport, but Africa is in dire need of good aviation infrastructure.
Issues with funding, governance, and management have held Asaba back.
If these issues can be sorted, Asaba International has a fair chance of developing into a decent airport.