Civil flight operations are set to resume at the Military Airport in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
This cheery news comes after many years of delay occasioned by differences between the state government and the Nigerian Military.
A ‘Joint Use Agreement’ between the Nigeria Air Force, NAF; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet.
The ceremony, which was held at the New Banquet Hall of Benue Peoples House Makurdi, was witnessed by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and other top government officials.
Governor Ortom described the event as epoch-making, stressing that many had wished they had access to the state but couldn’t due to lack of commercial flights and a deplorable state of the roads.
The Governor, who acknowledged the tremendous support of the Nigerian Air Force to the state in areas of security, education, health, among others, said the stoppage of civil flight operations was due to lack of proper documentation.
Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Training and Operations Headquarters, Air Vice Marshall James Gwani said the civil flight operations is part of their corporate social responsibility and civil-military relationship, pointing out that economic and social benefits will be enormous.
Company Secretary and Legal Adviser FAAN, Dr Clifford Omozeghian, representative of the MD-CEO, said FAAN management is passionate about opening the Makurdi NAF Aerodome for civil operations.
He commended the efforts of the Chief of Air Staff and Governor Ortom towards the actualisation of re-opening of the Makurdi NAF Aerodome for civil flight operations, saying it is an expression of sensitivity to the people’s aspirations.
Dr Omozeghian pledged the commitment of FAAN to its responsibilities as stated in the Joint Use Agreement to guarantee the development potentials of Benue and benefits to users.
Representative of Air Peace, Ayodeji Ayodele, said with the signing of the Joint Use Agreement, Air Peace will be part of the December Flight Schedule in and out of Makurdi.