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Bayelsa airport to begin commercial flight operations

After months of delayed expectation, the Bayelsa state-owned airport, on Saturday, finally got the nod of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to commence commercial flight operations.
The NCAA Director-General, Nuhu Musa, presented the regulatory body’s approval letter to an elated Governor Douye Diri, at the Government House, Yenagoa, after the team had completed the mandatory inspection of the airport and its facilities.
The airport project was delivered by the immediate past administration of Seriake Dickson.
Mr. Musa said the airport met all airspace standards and is one hundred percent ready for daytime flight operations.
The NCAA DG also explained that the approval was sequel to the report of the agency’s inspection team which, before the visit, had certified that out of 29 gaps, the airport had been able to close 26.
He noted that other requirements were non-safety-related and that work was already in progress to achieve night flight operations.
The DG said the agency had to limit flight operations to daytime, as the runway lights were still being installed, noting that once completed, full approval would be granted.
Mr. Musa commended the state government for the quality of work done at the airport and the capable personnel from the state that facilitated the issuing of the license.
Responding, Mr. Diri said that the issuing of the operational license was a winding journey that began from the administration of his immediate predecessor to when he assumed office over a year ago.
He commended the former governor for his foresight in ensuring that the state had its airport, noting that Mr. Dickson started the project after it had been on the drawing board of past administrations and saw to its completion before handing it over to him.
The governor said his administration was, therefore, determined to ensure flight operations commenced as he set the machinery in motion to get the NCAA nod.
“As I came on board, having seen what he did, my administration had to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.
“Having been briefed on certain requirements, I wasted no time in approving what was necessary to ensure that the airport was ready for use. Today, we have the approval for the airport to commence commercial flight operation,” Mr. Diri said.
He also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the NCAA DG, and other officials for the approval and promised to do all it would take to get full flight operations.
The governor stressed the significance of the Bayelsa airport, particularly in the South-South region that is the center of oil and gas activities in the country.
“So, the Bayelsa airport is critical not only to Bayelsans but indeed the people of the South-South, South-East and by extension the nearby countries. We are on the border with the Gulf of Guinea,” he stated.

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