By Uche Mbah
It was a carnival of sorts as Governor Seriake Dickson today inaugurated the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport, estimated to have gulped N60 billion. The Airport, which was meant to be a state and Federal government joint venture, suffered a setback when the Federal Government pulled out of the deal. Dickson doggedly continued with the building of the Airport.
The Airport was built by Dantata and Sowe, an indigenous construction company.
The Airport could have been opened last August, but that date was not feasible. By November last year, it was announced ready for operation awaiting the certification by the Civil Aviation authorities. Although the approval from the Civil Aviation Authorities have been long in coming-by last week the Bayelsa government was still waiting for the approval-it finally came with the announcement of the Inaugural Flight by Air peace, which has been making in routes into the west African sub region.
Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, will fly in with Air Peace.
Air Peace has 22 Aircrafts in its fleet, including two Boeing 777 planes. One more is on order to tackle the proposed Dubai, Mumbai, and Atlanta London routes as part of its expansion plan. The Airline has said it intends to make Akanu Ibiam International Airport its hub center.
Today, Air Peace will fly into the Airport through Lagos with a 737 Aircraft. It will land on the 3.5 km runway, said to be the longest runway in West Africa.
The Bayelsa Government has planned the inaugural flight to coincide with the state Anniversary celebrations.
The Bayelsa International Cargo Airport was one of the five Airports approved in 2014 by the Jonathan Administration. Others were Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa and Ogun states. It was meant to ensure easy passage of cargo across the states. The Bayelsa own was later upgraded to an international status.