The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given the green light for Bayelsa airport to commence commercial flight operations.
Nuhu Musa, NCAA director-general, presented the approval letter to Douye Diri, Bayelsa state governor, on Saturday, after an inspection of the airport and its facilities.
Musa said the airport met all airspace standards and is ready for daytime flight operations.
The NCAA DG said the approval was sequel to the report of the agency’s inspection team which, prior to the visit, had certified that out of 29 gaps, the airport had been able to close 26.
He said other requirements were not safety-related and that work was already in progress to achieve night flight operations.
The DG said the agency had to limit flight operations to daytime, as the runway lights were still being installed.
Musa commended the state government for the quality of work done at the airport.
On his part, the Bayelsa state governor commended his predecessor, Seriake Dickson, for executing the project, after it had been on the drawing board of past administrations.
The governor said his administration was determined to ensure flight operations commenced as he set the machinery in motion to get the NCAA approval.
He said: “This is a dream come true for our state and our people. I thank God Almighty because this journey had been a winding one from my immediate past predecessor and I have been in the saddle for over a year waiting for this licence. Today, God made it possible.
“I also thank my predecessor, Sen. Seriake Dickson. This airport had been on the drawing board, but he took the bull by the horns by starting the airport and virtually completing it. May I, on behalf of this government and the people of Bayelsa, appreciate him.
“As I came on board, having seen what he did, my administration had to cross the Ts and dot the Is.
“Having been briefed on certain requirements, I wasted no time in approving what was necessary to ensure that the airport was ready for use. Today, we have the approval for the airport to commence commercial flight operations.”
Diri promised to do all it will take to commence full flight operations, adding that the necessary facilities and equipment were in place and will soon be installed.
The governor added that the airport is significant to the south-south region.