- Benin Airport upgraded to night flight operations
AS part of concerted efforts to stimulate economic activities around Edo state and its environs, Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has announced Federal Government’s plan to build an agro allied cargo terminal at Benin Airport.
This is just as Government has inaugurated the newly remodeled Ibadan Airport terminal building to reposition the air travel in the ancient city as well as the nation’s aviation industry.
Sen. Hadi Sirika disclosed all these during his tour of various airports to inspect ongoing and commission completed projects that the administration had embarked on since it got into power.
The Minister who arrived Benin today inaugurated the newly installed Category 2 (CAT2) Instrument Landing System at the airport alongside Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
According to him, government was committed to developing transport and airport infrastructure in Benin and the terminal was part of the government’s plan to promote economic growth through agriculture.
The Benin Airport can perform night flights and flights during low visibility with the installation of Precision Approach Lighting System and Instrument Landing System
“From now on, you have the Instrument Landing System which can allow pilots in reduced visibility and bad weather to be able to shoot on approach and land in Benin, just like they will do in London. And also, it is no longer closure from 6pm. The operational capability of the airport has improved with the installation of these equipment.”
“We will continue to do more for Benin and beside this we will cite the agro allied cargo terminal for benin and we will soon commence the civil work. And your excellency, the governor has promised that he will participate in putting the civil structures for us to build that facility here to begin to export out of Benin.
“We have been exporting before out of Benin especially the culture, they have been stealing the artifacts but with this we will be producing things and be exporting out of Benin. From now on you have the ILS that which can allow pilots in reduced visibility, in bad weather to be able to approach and land just like they do in London.
Governor Obaseki who also spoke said that the benefit of having up to date equipment at the airport was enormous for the state.
He commended the federal government and the aviation agencies for their commitment to transforming Edo into an air transportation hub in the country.
“Today, history is being made in so many perspectives in the sense that one, we are not just unveiling the key technologies for our airport, but we are celebrating a very unique privilege and honour for a state like Edo State to collaborate very closely with federal government agency.
“We also want to thank the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) who work very closely and tirelessly with us in the last one to one and half-year to make sure that we upgrade this airport.
“We believe as a government that we are very uniquely placed as a state. Edo is a hub.
“You cannot go from the western part of this country to the east or south without going through Edo state.
“We know by nature that transportation mode, we have land transportation and now we want to make sure that our air transportation is up to par.
“The reason why we insisted as a government that we must upgrade our airport is that Benin Airport is one of the top five airports in terms of passenger traffic in Nigeria and we believe we can do more.
“With the night landing system we can now convince airlines to do night landing in Benin,” he said.
According to the governor, the decision of the government to give Edo a cargo terminal, will help the people to begin to transport their produce like pineapples.
He added that the cargo airport would be a boost to the state government’s plan to industrialize Edo in a very short time.
The Minister who earlier arrived Ibadan Airport to inaugurate the remodeled terminal building described Ibadan Airport, “What Kaduna is to the north, what Enugu is to the southeast and Benin to the South-south is what Ibadan is to the southwest in terms of trade and commerce and even their traditional culture and financial system.
“The city of Ibadan is the premier city in West Africa and it is a revered city.
“It is against this backdrop that the Federal Government decided to rehabilitate and remodel this terminal building and other associated works within the airport like the fence.
“It is an honour and privilege to commission this project in the name of Allah the most beneficent and merciful,” he said.