President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated the 600 million dollars new international terminal at the Port Harcourt International Airport funded by the Export-Import Bank of China and the Nigerian Government.
With him during the commissioning were Minister of Labour Chris Ngige, Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike, Minister of State Aviation Hadi Sirika and Rivers APC Gubernatorial Candidate Mr Tonye Cole.
Port Harcourt International Airport (IATA: PHC, ICAO: DNPO) is an international airport located in Omagwa, a suburb of Port Harcourt, the capital city of the Rivers State in Nigeria. The airport has a single terminal with separate facilities for international and domestic flights. In 2009, the airport served 1,081,587 passengers, making it the third-busiest airport in Nigeria.
On 18 August 2006, the airport was closed for repairs. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority stated that the emergency shutdown was in order to overhaul the runway and build a fence around the facility. Such maintenance had been in planning stages for several months, but an electrical fire on 17 August 2006 made repairs immediately necessary. All domestic flights were diverted to Sam Mbakwe Airport (Owerri), Akanu Ibiam International Airport (Enugu) and Margaret Ekpo International Airport (Calabar), while international flights were diverted to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (Abuja) or Murtala Mohammed International Airport (Lagos).
Repair work started in January 2007, while re-opening was originally expected to be in August 2007. In June 2007, work was suspended due to safety concerns of the engineers.
In December 2007, the airport was reopened to a limited capacity. Operations were restricted to daytime until the first quarter of 2008, by which time the new CAT III lighting system became fully operational.