See When General Olusegun Obasanjo Commissioned Murtala Muhammed International Airport In 1979 (Throwback Video, Photos) – AutoReportNG
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See When General Olusegun Obasanjo Commissioned Murtala Muhammed International Airport In 1979 (Throwback Video, Photos)



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Lagos Airport officially known as Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), is the busiest and largest international airport serving Lagos, Nigeria.

MMIA Lagos

The airport at Ikeja near Lagos was built during World War II. West African Airways Corporation was formed in 1947 and had its main base at Ikeja.

Originally known as Lagos International Airport, it was renamed in the mid-1970s, during the construction of the new international terminal, after a former Nigerian military head of state Murtala Muhammed. The international terminal was modelled after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The new terminal opened officially on 15 March 1979.

The airport was shut down for remodelling and construction of the new terminal in 1979.

On March 16th 1979, General Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos.

MMIA Lagos Airport

The airport was named in honour of Obasanjo’s predecessor, the former Nigerian Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed who was assassinated in February 1976.

The airport was designed to handle all types of aircraft and two and a half million passengers a year. It was part of a 300 Million Naira (about 240 Million Pounds Sterling) airport development project.

It was constructed with a 3,900-metre long runway and a carrier space for 25 international airlines; equipped with a sophisticated landing system and its own 10,000-kilowatt power generating plant.

Gen Obasanjo 504 Peugeot Car

Gen Obasanjo arrived at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport in a Peugeot 504 car alongside his security details.

General Olusegun Obasanjo while commissioning the airport said…

“Only in a few areas of our national endeavour is the pressure for modernisation so intense today as in the aviation industry. Those in or familiar with the industry know that aviation is a growing, fast-changing and…industry. It is an important and fundamental aspect of national development which no country can afford to ignore without the fear of consequences. Your excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, for the greater progress of Nigeria, closer understanding between mankind and the glory of God. Thank you very much.”

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport consists of an international and a domestic terminal, located about one kilometre from each other. Both terminals share the same runways.

This domestic terminal used to be the old Ikeja Airport. International operations moved to the new international airport when it was ready while domestic operations moved to the Ikeja Airport, which became the domestic airport. The domestic operations were relocated to the old Lagos domestic terminal in 2000 after a fire. A new domestic privately funded terminal known as MMA2 has been constructed and was commissioned on 7 April 2007.

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