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Passengers Decry State Of Facilities At PH Airport

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Air travellers and
other airport users have decried the poor state of facilities at the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omagwa.
The passengers lamented that the departure hall of the airport is still uncompleted several months after the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), declared the facilities good enough for use following the remodelling exercise which is yet to be completed.
A female passenger to Lagos who gave her name simply as Ijeoma told The Tide Aviation Correspondent that the departure hall is far from being completed and lamented the lack of some basic amenities for an international airport.
According to her, “look round this hall, you can see the level of completion, see the different organisations inside here having standing fans, see the toilet area and even the ticketing corners, all is not well my brother, I feel sorry for this country”.
Another traveler, Mr Emma Efiok, said, “apart from the departure hall that we are managing, the arrival area has only canopy and the inconvenience is much” and advised the Federal Government not to play politics with a public establishment like the airport which is a gateway to Port Harcourt as an oil city.
A business operator at the departure hall who refused to disclose her name said she provided herself a standing fan because the central air conditioner is not working and called on the authority concerned to complete the airport realising the importance of the airport to the nation.
She noted that the airport, when fully completed, would generate more revenue for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to carry out maintenance work for sustainability.
The Head, Corporate Communication of FAAN, Mr Ola Ogundolapo, said the departure hall of the airport has been completed and passengers have confessed to the new phase of the departure area.
He, however, acknowledged that the arrival hall is under construction and would be completed as soon as the contractor is mobilised with another round of payment, adding that work on the new international wing of the airport is progressing steadily and would be completed on schedule.

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PH Airport: FEC Approves N2.97bn For Perimeter Road

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N2.97 billion for fencing and perimeter road for the Port- Harcourt International Airport.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The second memorandum is for the fencing and perimeter road for the Port Harcourt International Airport.
“This project was abandoned since 2011, and of course, in response to the philosophy of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete all abandoned projects and ongoing projects, this safety, security critical item felt in our wisdom, that it needs to be completed.
“Variation was brought to council; it has been approved earlier; the variation is in the sum of N271.8 million; this of course jacked up the contract sum to N2.97 billion and the new completion period of six months.
“The perimeter fence is understood I hope; and the then road is the road that goes around the perimeter to allow for surveillance.
“It will allow for monitoring of the fence integrity and also for additional security; to be able to go round the circumference of the airport for improved security and safety operations.’’
Sirika had earlier said that the council made an approval of N574.3 million for insurance and special risk for the assets in Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.
He said it included the personnel that would be operating the machines.
“This includes of course VAT of five per cent to cover from June 10, 2019 to 2022.
“Yearly payments will be made in accordance with the extant laws and regulations,’’ he said
The minister, while responding to questions, made clarifications on the status of Arik air with regards to intended national carrier.
He said that there was need to understand the standpoint of the Ministry of Aviation on the issue.
Sirika said that the carrier that he intended to bring was such a carrier that would support national economy with 450 million dollar GDP for 200million people, very equipped to compete favourably.
According to him, 80 per cent of  international airlines that have dominated Africa are non-African.
“In view of the AU Agenda 2063, the Single African Aviation Market, we thought that there will be an airline that will take up that challenge; that will take advantage of it and be able to provide services to our people.
“Nigeria, being the first country to kick-start the declaration in 1999, to establish a one common market in Africa; at the time, we wanted to take advantage of the Nigeria Airways which was the strongest airline on the continent, and we thought that we could take advantage of that and it would pay Nigeria very well.
“ Tables turned, decisions were reversed and now, Nigeria was unlucky to have an airline that can participate in that manner.
“So, the answer to your question is that Arik, as presently constituted, is not in line with the thinking of the ministry.
“ It will not be able to give us that airline that we need; however, Arik as an entity, since it is private-sector driven, can either buy shares in the new ventures or invest in any manner in the business as presently approved, ‘’ he said.
The minister said that he was not implying that other airlines would go down when a national carrier came on board as it was the ministry’s duty to support business in the sector.

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Air Peace Begins Flight Operations To Makurdi, Soon

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The Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema has said the airline would begin flight operations to Makurdi, Benue State capital before the end of November.
Onyema made this known in Lagos, yesterday.
The chairman said: “our flights to Benue will begin before the end of November because we have almost finalised preparations.
“We are only waiting to receive another Embraer 145 Jet which we are using for such operations.’’
Air Peace had, on June 28, 2018, signed an agreement with the Benue State Government to operate flights to Makurdi.
The Chief Operating Officer, Air Peace, Mrs Oluwatoyin Olajide, had said that the airline would deliver exceptional flight experience to residents of Benue and others travelling on the Makurdi route.
Olajide said the route would be serviced by an Embraer 145 jet, under Air Peace Hopper, the airline’s subsidiary and would terminate at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Makurdi.
According to her, the operations will cover Abuja-Makurdi-Abuja and Lagos-Makurdi-Lagos.
The Chief of Staff to Benue State Governor, Mr Terwase Obunde, had assured the airline of the government’s support to ensure its success on the route.

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NAF To Conduct Stimulation Exercise At Aminu Kano Int’l Airport

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces (The Panthers) says it will conduct a simulation exercise on counter-terrorism, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, had announced in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that the exercise is nicknamed “ EXERCISE STEEL DOME II”
“ This is to inform the general public, especially air travellers, that the Nigerian Air Force Special Forces (The Panthers) will conduct a simulation exercise on counter-terrorism, nicknamed EXERCISE STEEL DOME 2, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Thursday, October .31 (yesterday).
“ This is part of efforts at securing the nation’s airports and other critical national assets against acts of terrorism.

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