Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Nigeria. Credit: Hansueli Krapf / WikiCommons.
The maximum annual passenger handling capacity of the terminal is seven million. Credit: Alucardion / Shutterstock.
Commissioning ceremony of the passenger terminal building was held in October 2018. Credit: Bashir Ahmad via Twitter.
A new passenger terminal was built at the Port Harcourt international airport to meet the growing passenger traffic. Credit: Bashir Ahmad via Twitter.

Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) is located in Omagwa, Port Harcourt, the capital of the southern state of Rivers in Nigeria.

A new terminal at the airport was opened in October 2018.

The new passenger terminal building was constructed to offer a hassle-free travel experience. The international airport is owned and operated by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), a statuary organisation responsible for the management of all commercial airports in Nigeria.

Port Harcourt is the third busiest international airport in the country by passenger traffic. Located in the middle of oil and gas hub of the country, the airport plays a pivotal role in Nigerian economic development.

Cargo movements at the international airport increased by 17.56% in 2017. The upward trend in traffic has been constant over the years and growing passenger and cargo traffic called for the enhancement of facilities at the airport.

Port Harcourt International Airport background and existing facilities

Operations at Port Harcourt International Airport began in the 1980s. It was closed in August 2006 due to an emergency and was re-opened later in December 2007 with limited capacity. Full operations resumed by early 2018.

The airport currently features two terminals, one each for international and domestic journeys. A single terminal was used to handle both international and domestic passengers prior to the construction of the new terminal. The old terminal is being renovated to handle domestic and commercial aircraft operations.

The single asphalt-surfaced runway at the airport has a length of 9,846ft (3,001m) and a width of 197ft (60m). The landing and take-off distances of the runway are 9,846ft (3,001m) and 10,246ft (3,123m) respectively.

Details of the new passenger terminal at Port Harcourt International Airport

Construction of the new passenger terminal building started in February 2014. The project was originally scheduled for completion by early 2016 but was opened in October 2018 due to a number of delays in construction.

Constructed on a greenfield site, the new terminal building covers an area of 28,000m². It has the capacity to handle more than seven million passengers a year.

The two-storey building was built featuring an apron, dedicated cargo handling facility, commercial and retail spaces, and other ancillary facilities.

Passenger check-in facilities include 12 arrival immigration desks, 16 departure immigration desks, and 24 check-in counters.

The new passenger terminal also features four passenger boarding bridges and three baggage collection carousels.

Financing for the terminal project

The flagship project at the airport was carried out with an investment of approximately N216bn ($600m). The central Government of the People’s Republic of China assisted the Nigerian Government in the development of the project.

The Export and Import Bank of China provided N180bn ($500m) as a loan on behalf of the Chinese Government. The remaining N36bn ($100m) required for the project was provided by the Nigerian Government.

Contractors and key players

Construction works of the new passenger terminal were handled and implemented by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

CCECC is involved in other key infrastructure projects in Nigeria, including the construction of new terminal buildings at Kano, Lagos, and Abuja international airports.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), an air transportation support services firm based in Nigeria, and ground handling services provider Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) are responsible for operating cargo handling facilities.