Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Makurdi airport which was closed in November last year for repairs has now been open for civil aviation operations.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar directed the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Tactical Air Command, AVM Oladayo Amao to send a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that the Makurdi airport is now open for civil aviation operation.
The CAS who stated this on Thursday while inspecting the level of work done so far on the Makurdi airfield, commended the level of professionalism adopted in carrying out the repair work.
He said the repairs carried out so far on the airfield had now put paid to initial speculations that the airfield might have been closed for an ulterior motive.
“It is now very clear that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is a professional force that has nothing to do with who is landing here and who is not landing here. We cannot allow aircrafts to land here if we believe that in the process of landing, safety issues are involved. Those who wish to come and land here can now do so.
“Now civil traffic into Makurdi can be restored. So, let us go ahead and send the necessary papers to NCAA that the Makurdi airport is now open to civil operation,” he said.
Earlier, the AOC, AVM Amao had informed the Chief of Air Staff that work on the airfield was already at 80 percent completion stage and should be fully completed by the end of January subject to the availability of sealants.
Amao also noted that the drainage system by the runway had already been completed and assured that as soon as they were able to source for more sealants, the remaining work on the apron and taxiway would be completed.
The air chief also inspected the newly-installed prototype wireless alarm system (base siren) that can cover up to four kilometers, the runway, the drainage system after which he proceeded to Agatu for another event.
He directed that the prototype wireless alarm system be immediately replicated in Maiduguri, Port Hacourt and Yola airports.