Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, George Okafor, on Tuesday commended the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led State Government of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for the reopening of Asaba Airport for commercial flights.
Okafor was among the passengers on board an Air Peace Aircraft Boeing 737 with registration number 5N–BUJ that touched down at the airport from Lagos following resumption of flights after the COVID-19 induced shutdown.
The Senior Political Adviser to the Governor Okowa, Funkekeme Solomon; Executive Assistant to the governor on Communications, Fred Latimore; and the Chairman Isoko North Local Government Council, Emmanuel Egbabor, were also on board the aircraft.
According to the APC chieftain, ‘the return of flight operations at the Asaba Airport is a very big relief to us especially those of us that often go to meetings in Abuja. We thank the Governor and the state government and everybody that is here today to ensure successful reopening of the airport.’
The pilot of the aircraft, Captain Omar Al-Talib, said the carrier was delighted to have returned to Asaba after its flight operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA) and the Delta State Government for their efforts at reopening the airport, assuring that the airline will scale up its operations at the Asaba Airport.
Also speaking, Okowa’s chief political adviser, Mr Funkekeme, said the investments at the airport was yielding adequate results, and urged the airport authorities to ensure excellence in its operations.
‘The investments in this airport has paid off with the upgrading of standards of the airport with a very high approval rating from the regulatory authorities.
‘We had a very smooth flight on board Air Peace from Lagos and we thank His Excellency the Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa for all he has done to ensure the reopening of this airport.
‘We know that this COVID-19 has altered our lifestyle but by the grace of God it will go very soon, but for now we have to adapt to the new normal. I appeal to the airport authorities to ensure excellence in their operations so that more people will continue to patronise the airport,’ he said.
Special Project Director, Asaba Airport, Austin Ayemidejor, assured that the facility has complied with all COVID-19 safety protocols, assuring air travellers of the best flying experience from the airport.
‘You know that Air Peace has been operating here on daily basis before the pandemic and now that they have come back, they have assured us of daily flight operations here in Asaba.
‘My advice to air travellers from the airport is to always ensure they adhere strictly to safety protocols already put in place to ensure smooth operations of the Airport,’ Ayemidejor said.