GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RUNWAY: a benchmark for NAIA Abuja 2nd runway under construction6 min read
L-R: Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the VP, Prof. Yemi Osibajo, VP, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, Chief Segun Osoba. Back of VP, Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister, and Otunba Justus Gbenga Daniel, when unveiling the plaque to commemorate the maiden flight into Gateway International Agro-Cargo & Passenger Airport, Ilisan
** Gateway International Agro-Cargo and Passenger Airport is seated on 5,000 hectares of land in Iperu-Ilisan, Ogun State
** The airport is built with a four-kilometer-long runway
** Runway is 60 meters in width and 1.5 meters’ shoulder on both sides
** Airport conceived in 2001, approved by NCAA in 2008, turned the first sod September 2021, test flight February 2023. Earned the fastest quickly built airport in the world
** Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, provided seed capital at rock bottom interest rate
** Airport to generate 25,000 jobs at full capacity
** To provide leadership in none oil export from Nigeria
The smooth landings experienced by the Pilot-in-Command, PIC, of each of the two different aircraft that landed on the newly constructed Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport Runway, have been described as exquisite, occasioned by the impeccable quality of the four (4) kilometer long runway provided for the airport
The Pilots in Command paid glowing tributes to the runway and described it as perfectly flat, with an even surface and without any iota of crocodile crack, no ridges, no bumps, or lumps, and no roughness of any kind thus, the four (4) kilometer runway has been adjudged the best in Nigeria to date.
Capt Ahmadi Muhammad, who flew in the CRJ-90, operated by ValueJet airline, the latest entrant into the nation’s domestic operations said, he had been flying to every airport in Nigeria for decades but no runway can be compared with the Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport, situated at the Iperu-Ilisan road, Ikenne Local Government of Ogun State.
The crew congratulated the people of Ogun state and indeed Nigerians for the quality of infrastructure the state government had begun to install in the construction of the fastest, quickly-built airport anywhere in the world.
According to Governor Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun state government will be creating an aerotropolis, airport city, on the 5,000 hectares of land acquired for the agro-cargo and passenger airport being constructed.
The Governor revealed other features of the runway that, it was constructed with 60 meters’ width and 1.5 meters’ shoulder on both sides.
Abiodun said the runway had a big sub-structure and a big surface asphalt of 230 millimeters making the facility one of the best-designed airports and best-built anywhere in the world.
To appreciate the efforts and especially the pace at which the current stage of construction was achieved, Abiodun said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the regulatory authority for air transport activities in the country, granted approval for the construction in October 2008.
He said the master plan was submitted to NCAA in October 2009 but full construction did not start until April 2021. He, however, added that construction was disrupted due to the rainy season and full mobilization to the site did not happen until October 2021.
Hence, on 23rd February 2023, the maiden test flight was successfully conducted in the presence of dignitaries such as the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, FGN, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, former Speaker of the House of Representative, ‘Dimeji Bankole, former Governors of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel, including the leadership of the Ogun state traditional rulers.
Other sterling features of the airport as revealed by Governor Abiodun was that the airport operating standards had placed it in category 4E, and it can conveniently accommodate all the wide-body aircraft including, Boeing 777, B747, A380 Neo, among others.
Abiodun also revealed the construction of the five-story control tower was being done on 36 meters of land mass and will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for the Air Traffic Controllers, ATCs.
He said the state-of-the-art power station shall be provided as its space was already earmarked while an 82000 square meter space was earmarked for a modern and tech-savvy cargo apron.
He announced that the government had begun shopping for the best firm anywhere in the world that shall collaborate through Public-Private-Partnership, PPP, for efficient management of the airport.
The Governor said the state government intended the project to be self-financed hence, the preferred bidder for the PPP shall bring private capital, significant experience, and the know-how of managing airport facilities in Africa with the view of making the facility a net contributor to the state’s treasury.
Abiodun said the official commissioning will hold in a couple of months as the maiden test flights and official landings were to set the ground for the grand finale of the launch of the facility.
He expressed gratitude to communities that gave up their land for the project among who are, the people of Irolu, Iperu, Ilisan, Ode, Apata, and Ilara who, jointly committed more than 10,000 hectares of their lands.
He promised that government shall take full responsibility for the fallout from the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, conducted as a way to demonstrate that the government is responsible and responsive.
The Governor expressed gratitude to the contractor, Kraneborg, the consultant, Dan Handerson, to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for his invaluable advice, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for providing long-term loan at a very appreciable interest rate which he acknowledged they severally and collectively contributed to making the test landing on the runway what he described as his version of “oh my God” moment.
The Minister handed a certification that gave a nod of approval for adherence to technical standards in the entire formwork for a category 4E airport as approved by the nation’s regulatory authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
An aeronautic Engr, Kingsley Okparanta, expressed optimism that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, NAIA, second runway under construction should be completed with no less quality standard than what he witnessed at the Gateway International Agro-Cargo and Passenger Airport, Iperu-Ilisan, Remo division of Ogun State.
Technical personnel present to make safe test-landing and safe take-off possible were the Air Traffic Controllers, ATC, from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Officers, AREFF, and Aviation Security, AVSEC, both from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and officials of NCAA, were all on hand to make the event a reality.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, paid glowing tribute to the project and expressed optimism that the airport would play a formidable role in the actualization of the federal government’s determination to promote none oil export.
Former Governors, Segun Osoba, an elder statesman, and Olugbenga Justus Daniel, popularly known as OGD, commended Governor Abiodun for his magnanimity and for rising above pettiness by boldly completing projects initiated by his predecessors of which the airport is one of them.
The airport project was initiated in 2001 by the then Governor Gbenga Daniel.Share
1 thought on “GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RUNWAY: a benchmark for NAIA Abuja 2nd runway under construction”
This is the most explosive development ever recorded in the Country aviation industry in the last seven years plus of the tenure of PMB administration. Congratulations. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless the Gateway State “Ise ya omo Ogun ise ya”