Posted by News Express | 15 February 2019 | 3,562 times
History was made on Thursday afternoon, February 14, 2019, when the first plane landed in Bayelsa International Airport built by the Governor Henry Seriake Dickson Administration.
Governor Dickson and other top government functionaries flew in onboard an Air Peace plane which landed at the Airport situated along the Amassoma road.
The airport, which boasts 3.5 kilometres runway, was built at the cost of over N65 billion and the inaugural flight took place some 23 years after the creation of Bayelsa State.
Speaking at the airport when an Air Peace Embraer Regional Jet that flew from Lagos landed at the runway, to the tumultuous welcome of Bayelsa indigenes, Dickson said it was the first aircraft to land in any airport in Izon land, the heartland of the Ijaws.
He noted that the airport will open the state to the world; through attraction of investments; export of agricultural produce; tourism and other economic activities.
Dickson said he was more than excited to receive the first aircraft into the airport as a Valentine gift to the good people of the state as well as a fitting achievement to commemorate the seven years anniversary of Bayelsa.
He said the project was conceived, developed and built with scarce resources from Bayelsa State Government at austere times like this.
He said its completion is part of the promise of his administration to accelerate the economic development of Bayelsa State, which deserves a better deal in the Nigerian project.
He said the airport will resolve inconveniences associated with connecting flights by Bayelsans through neighboring states.
Dickson said the Federal Government which promised to build an airport terminal in the state reneged in its promise, a development, he said pushed his administration to think out of the box to deliver the project.
He said previous efforts by other governors to have done this did not materialise, hence the zeal and determination by his administration to complete the airport in record time.
Though the airport has not been officially commissioned, Dickson said a date will be fixed to celebrate the infrastructural revolution in Bayelsa State.
Dickson said the airport will generate jobs for thousands of Bayelsa indigenes and others who are poised to contribute to the economic development of the state.
He said though work in progress, some issues about the airport concerning compensation to host communities and contractors were yet to be resolved.
He commended aviation agencies including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for this cooperation and relevant approval for the project.
Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer, Air Peace, Mrs Toyin Olajide, commended Bayelsa State Government for the feat assuring that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the state will facilitate regular flight services on the route.
She urged people of the state to take advantage of the fight services to stimulate business for the state.
She said the airline like the state government has scored many firsts by venturing into feats that have accelerated economic growth for Nigeria.
Also speaking, Senator Ben Murray Bruce said Bayelsa International Airport will stimulate economic growth for the state; attract investment opportunities and boost tourism.
•Additional reports by Silverbird TV and The Nation.
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