The construction work on the MKO Abiola International Airport in Nigeri at, Ido Osun in Osun State, Nigeria is at 25% complete. Wemimo Adebajo, the Consultant Engineer to the state government on the project announced during his inspection tour at the project site. He added that when the project is fully completed, it will be ranked among airports with the longest runways in Nigeria.
The present site of the MKO Abiola International Airport is the first place where aviation activities took place in West Africa. The West African Frontier Force was lifted from the Ido-Osun aerodrome, which is the present site of the MKO international Airport project during the World War II, since then the conscious effort by the state to make it the best in Nigeria if not in Africa.
The government has so far spent about US$13.56m part of the US$55.24m revised total cost of the project.
The 3.5km airport runway will be laid with 500mm asphalt while 12.3m will be excavated and re-filled with laterite. However, both sides of the runway will be equipped with water pipes which will be the first of its kind in Nigeria. The runway will also be equipped with facilities that will make emergency firefighting readily available near the runway in case of any emergency landing or fire outbreaks.
According to the present Federal Government policy, the federal government is required to provide 50% of the total cost of constructing the airport. Meanwhile, the project contractors are working on site maintenance to ensure that when work resumes there won’t be any case of deterioration of the huge work that had already been done here.
Presently, the Control Tower of four floors is at third floor nearing completion while the terminal building built to the foundation, the airport fire station has reached the roofing stage.
The runaway, itself will cover a total of about 60% of the total cost of any airport project. Currently, lots of work has already been done on the runway including the 8 streams in the path of the runway. However, excavation has become vital for the construction of covets box for the stream water to flow unhindered under the runway.