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Why new N60bn Bayelsa Airport remains uncertified

Bayelsa Airport
Bayelsa Airport

The N60 billion Bayelsa Airport which was commissioned six months ago has not commenced flight operations due to the absence of perimeter fencing, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said.

The Acting Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Abdullahi Sidi disclosed this yesterday while briefing newsmen at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

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He said the airport has not been certified to commence commercial operations because of the perimeter fencing, a major safety requirement.

He said NCAA would not compromise security in its activities and that once the fence is built, the airport would be certified for operations.

“Perimeter fencing is number one requirement for any airport, which is safety. Someone said the government has done about 60 per cent of the perimeter fencing and said the other side of the airport is creek, but I said that is not acceptable to aviation industry.

“That perimeter fencing is the only thing remaining for Bayelsa Airport. There is no politics about it. That is the requirement. And anything security is taken seriously. It is a security issue. If we need to close an airport because of security issue, we will until they comply,” Sidi said.

The acting DG however commended the security arrangement at major airports in the country adding that MMA and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja continue to receive high ratings of 90 percent on international security audits.

He said: “In as much as we have some minor security issues, Nigeria airports especially the Lagos and Abuja, security-wise, we have achieved 96 per cent of the International Security Audit of our airports.”

Sidi further emphasized the need for fencing at airports to stop infiltration

“We have what we called the airside and the passenger side of an airport. The airside is supposed to be much more secured than the passenger side. I am happy to tell you that even the passenger side all have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras,” he said.

 

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