The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, in collaboration with Ala Resort Limited, has finalized arrangements to turn Akure Airport into an aerotropolis.
Mr Moyosola Niran-Oladunni, the resort’s Chief Executive Officer, announced this in Akure on Monday during a news conference to mark the project’s inauguration on Tuesday.
According to Niran-Oladunni, the project would be inaugurated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAAN and the resort’s management.
An aerotropolis is an urban region created within and around an airport. It entails the creation of an airport-based metropolis centered on air travel and surrounded by commercial, educational, entertainment, healthcare, and hospitality facilities.
According to Niran-Oladunni, the firm was offering ideas that would have an impact value on the state.
He said that the aerotropolis, the first of its type in Sub-Saharan Africa, will revolve around the aviation sector.
According to Niran-Oladunni, the resort has been working on the aerotropolis since 2017, when experts were invited in to assess the airport’s viability for the project.
He stated that FAAN approved the project, which he claimed will be built in phases that included institutional, industrial, commercial, and agricultural uses.
According to him, the aerotropolis would have an institutional zone, which would include a sports academy that could house any sports team and would be developed by the Emirate Foundation, as well as a medical center built by a US company.
The industrial zone would also allow all materials required in construction to be assembled and produced within the sector.
Niran-Oladunni went on to say that the aerotropolis has the potential to catalyze freight commerce at the airport, and that the airport authorities will activate the cargo shed.
He said that the aerotropolis is expected to hire 14,000 skilled workers, with infrastructure amenities costing N56 billion.
The project is being developed as a public-private collaboration between Ala Resort Limited and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, according to him.
“Ala Resort and Aerotropolis will be a sprawling development in which air travel will be the driving force and central concept, surrounded by complementary commercial, educational, entertainment, and healthcare, hospitality and light industrial centres.”
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to perform the groundbreaking, aided by the governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika,” he said.
In addition, Mr Hycinth Ngwu, General Manager, Business Development, FAAN Headquarters, stated that the decision was based on a private/public partnership aimed at developing an aerotropolis in the airport.
Ngwu said the project would be completed on time and that Akure Airport will transform the way the authority generates revenue.
“It is in everyone’s best interest to support the project.” It will increase the state and local governments’ revenue sources.
“Certainly, the majority of the employees will be from the surrounding area.” They should support it because it will help them succeed.
“This is something we intend to replicate in other airports.” “We started in Akure because it had the most land mass before being surpassed recently by Abuja Airport,” he explained.
Mrs Lynda Ezike, the airport manager in Akure, indicated that the airport’s management and workers were ready to support with the proposed unprecedented development megaproject in the airport.
“We are ready to support Ala Resort Ltd in ensuring the success of this megaproject that will benefit all stakeholders,” she added.
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