Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the State Government invested heavily to ensure that commercial flights operations resumed in Makurdi.
Governor stated this yesterday at the resumption of commercial flights to and from Makurdi via the Nigeria Air Force airport by Air Peace.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony at the Civil Wing of the Makurdi Airport, Governor Samuel Ortom pointed out that it was no mean feat for the State Government to facilitate the resumption of air travel to and from the state, noting that the State Government has met stringent conditions stipulated by aviation agencies.
In his words, “It has been a long journey that has been in the making. In fact, it has taken us the better part of two years to meet the stringent regulatory requirements for the resumption of Commercial Aviation in our State.
“In the course of this journey, we have had extensive engagement with all the key players in the Aviation Industry, including the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), amongst others.
“As a State Government, we have invested heavily in time, goodwill , and financial resources to help to meet the NCAA’s rigorous requirements for the resumption of Commercial Aviation services here.”
According to the Governor, the State Government’s intervention at the airport included, “Procurement and provision of an NCAA-approved Digital Airport Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle, along with training, equipping and testing of over 50 Fire staff; provision of a state-of-the-art Ambulance and trained health personnel for Emergency Rescue Services.”
It also included “Facilitating the Geodetic Survey of the Airport to ensure the Airport is included in ICAO maps so that pilots can rely on instruments (and not just their eyes) to fly into Makurdi; provisions of Airport Tarmac markings and related airside signages.”
Governor Ortom explained that other requirements were “Provision of operational vehicle for NAMA; strengthening of access control and security screening; provision of temporary spaces for Terminal operations; provision of a subsidy to defray Air Peace against any unanticipated route risks; amongst others.”
He disclosed that “We are also in the process of providing long-term accommodation for the NAMA personnel as well as a Tent to protect the ARFF truck and serve as a rest area for the Fire personnel, among other commitments.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema who spoke through the Grounds Operations Manager of Air Peace, Ayodeji Adeyemi, commended Governor Ortom for the determined efforts towards ensuring the resumption of Air Peace operations in the State.
The Assistant General Manager Aerodromes of the NCAA, Mr. Sylvanus Dakup and Mrs. Comfort Ogbuagwu of FAAN in separate goodwill messages congratulated Governor Ortom for his commitment and the investment of the State Government towards meeting all safety requirements for the resumption of commercial flights at the Makurdi Airport.
Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Jude Uungwa lauded the Governor’s resilience in ensuring the take-off of the operations of Air Peace in Makurdi, adding that the State Governor has also made available digital gadgets for safety operations as well as a 32-seater bus for the operations and logistics.