Akwa Ibom is racing to roll out robots at its airport, in line with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s promise of providing the state with a world-class airport terminal building.
The new terminal building at the airport is designed to meet the highest level of intelligence and smart building standards found anywhere in the world.
More than 1,000 people are expected to be employed in the facility as direct staff, while the terminal is expected to run both day and night shifts in line with international standards.
By December next year, passengers would be seeing robots cruising around the Victor Attah International Airport, according to Mr Essien Ndueso, Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation.
Visiting the ongoing project, he said “the terminal building comes with a digital self-check-in by a robot, pre-planned before COVID-19 and counter check-in as well with five bridges, staircases, seven lifts and four escalators, which are pressure sensitive and only move when a passenger is detected on it”.
He said the security architecture is very high, and there would be fingerprint digital pass or card pass, whether one is a passenger or staff.
According to experts, “the facility will have four methods of fire prevention – fire extinguishers, fire water sprinkler system, fire detectors (heat, smoke and temperature detectors), FM 200 ie automated fire suppression system, and the building leaves room for further expansion”.
In the early days of this month, Commissioner for Special Duties said the new terminal would be designed to process a minimum of one million passengers a year with a sitting capacity of 1,000.
Mr Okpolupum Etteh added that the facility would be ready for commissioning in December 2022.
He also said Ibom Airline – owned by the state – will begin international flights within the sub-region as soon as the aircrafts purchased for that purpose arrive in the state.