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Director of Training and currently Acting Director General of the regulatory agency NCAA, Capt. Abdullahi Sidi

Perimeter fencing keeps N60bn Bayelsa International Airport closed

  • As Regulator explains planned certification of PHIA, MAKIA
FOLLOWING the opening of the N60bn Bayelsa International Airport on February 15, 2019 with an inaugural flight, Nigerianflightdeck has learnt that the aerodrome may not operate until it resolves pending International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) security requirements to function.

Our reporter has learnt that the lack of a perimeter fence around the airport has been the reason why it is yet to operate flights like normal aerodromes.

Director of Operation and Training and currently Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Abdullahi Sidi made this known today in his office explaining to reporters that the issue is safety related and has nothing to do with politics

Captain Sidi said a perimeter fencing around the airport is a non-negotiable security feature for the airport’s functionality stating that until they comply, the airport will remain so

He said,” After I did my own investigation, Perimeter fencing is number one requirement for airports safety, when I asked the Bayesians, they said they’ve not finished the perimeter fencing, they have done 60-80% but the other side is a creek, water and so on but that is not acceptable.

“If you have water or creek and so on, even if you have crocodiles somebody can ride a boat and get into the airport and then enters your aeroplane and becomes a stowaway passenger in your airport. Do you understand? So that perimeter fencing is what is remaining for Bayelsa Airport, there is no politics about it, it is a requirement anything security we really don’t like playing with it, and it’s a security issue; if we have to close an airport because of security, we have to until they comply.

On certification of airports, Captain Sidi said after the 2017 Certification of both the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja the country is looking forward to the certification of the Port Harcourt international Airport and the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).

He said the certification of the MMIA and the NAIA was no mean explaining that both PHIA and MAKIA certification will be equally challenging

“What I must tell you is that this certification process is not as easy as it looks especially when you allow the infrastructure to be unattended for quite a long time and then over a period of time there are changes. If you are not proactive on those changes you find out by the time you want to do this certification, the requirement for the certification process, you find that the airport is either finding it difficult to meet up the requirement or you give them time.

“In the airport certification, you look at the runway where the airplane lands, you look at the taxiway where the aeroplane goes and park; you look at the terminal building, then you also look at the equipment that bring in the aeroplane, the VOR and ILS and these are supposed to be calibrated. For the VOR, its 12 months and for the ILS its 6 months. So every airport must have a serviceable landing aid and you make it serviceable by doing the calibration at these specific intervals.”

“This shows you that it is not easy…we calibrate because we want safe take-off and landing and these are parts of the certification processes.”

He further said the NCAA has gone a step further to commence airport certification training.

“That classroom now, they are doing airport certification training, we brought people from abroad to come and polish our airport certification inspectors both staff of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), right now as we speak they are in the class for this training. Everything you do in aviation there is something called recurrent training, after the basic training. Recurrent training comes at intervals, refreshes your mind,” he said.

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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