The Bayelsa State-owned airport, on Saturday, got the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to commence commercial flight operations.
The NCAA Director-General, Dr. Nuhu Musa, presented the regulatory body’s approval letter to Governor Douye Diri at the Government House, Yenagoa, after the team completed the mandatory inspection of the airport and its facilities.
Musa said the airport met all airspace standards and is 100 per cent ready for daytime flight operations.
The NCAA DG said the approval was sequel to the report of the agency’s inspection team, which prior to the visit, had certified that out of 29 gaps, the airport was 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.
He said the agency had to limit flight operations to daytime as the runway lights were being installed, noting that once completed, full approval would be granted.
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 licence.
Responding, Governor Diri, who was full of joy, expressed appreciation to God for making the long-awaited day possible.
He said issuing of the operational licence was a journey that began from the administration of his immediate past predecessor to when he assumed duty over a year ago.
Diri commended former Governor Seriake Dickson for his foresight in ensuring that the state had its own airport.
He noted that Senator Dickson started the project, which had been on the drawing board of past administrations and saw to its completion before handing over to him.
He said his administration was therefore determined to ensure flight operations commenced as he set the machinery in motion to get the NCAA nod.
Diri said: “This is a dream come true for our state and our people. I thank God Almighty because this journey has been a winding one from my immediate past predecessor and I have been in the saddle for over a year waiting for this licence. Today, God made it possible.
“I also thank my predecessor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson. This airport had been on the drawing board but he took the bull by the horns by starting the airport and virtually completed it. May I on behalf of this government and the people of Bayelsa appreciate him.”