Bayelsa Int’l Airport: Govt Makes Last Ditch Efforts for Commercial Flights Next Month.
Bayelsa State Government says it is making last ditch efforts to acquire the operational license for the commencement of commercial flights by the end of January next year.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo disclosed this on Wednesday during a meeting with the Airport Management and service providers in his office at Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the deputy governor expressed optimism that the state government would do everything within its reach to achieve the new target to enable Bayelsans and the general public enjoy the benefits associated with the Airport.
He warned those who are sponsoring unfounded rumours and negative impressions about the Airport especially in the social media to desist forthwith, stressing that what they are doing is only demarketing the state.
According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, what is already provided in the state air transport facility is relatively better than what is available in most airports in the country.
He therefore wondered what is delaying the release of the operational license to the state, and called on the relevant federal agencies to expedite action on the take-off of the Bayelsa Airport.
The Deputy Governor also cautioned the Airport staff especially the civil servants against acts that are inimical to the rules of their employment as government would not hesitate to invoke appropriate sanctions against anyone found culpable.
His words, “You have been in that airport for about a year or even more and the Airport is not operating. Ordinarily, I think that should concern you and everyone of us instead of writing petitions.
“You cannot be in the employment of the civil service and begin to write about that civil service negatively. If you have any complaints, there are channels to address such. Social media is not the right place.
“The social media is not there for you to go and write about your boss. If you do that, you have violated your terms of employment. You must know the consequences because we will not hesitate to invoke them. So, this is the last warning, particularly to those of us who are social media freaks.
“The take-off of our Airport should be the concern of all of us seated here and indeed every Bayelsan. Like the man that gave us the opening prayer said, let every hand of the devil or any hand that is obstructing the Airport from taking off be pulled away.
“To the service providers, I want to say that it will not be good, if we begin to send negative advisories to our service heads to create the impression that the Bayelsa Airport is not in position to take off.
‘That will be a great disservice to this state because we know that most of the airports operating in this country do not have the kind of facilities we have here. Personally, I have flown into almost all the airports in this country apart from the new ones.
“We want our Airport to start commercial flight operations by the end of January next year, so that you the workers, the people of this state and the general public will begin to benefit from it.”
In her remarks, the Manager, Bayelsa International Airport, Elizabeth Daitare-Akpama, described the issue of petition writing and wranglings in the Airport as worrisome and counter-productive.
She thanked the Deputy Governor for convening the meeting to address it and acknowledged the efforts of the state government towards the formal take-off of commercial operations at the Airport.
Representatives of the service providers and regulating agencies including the Airport Fire Service, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also made their submissions at the meeting.