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FG upgrades Benin Airport for night operations

FG upgrades Benin Airport for night operations

The Federal Government has upgraded facilities at the Benin Airport to accommodate flights at night and during low visibility.

The upgrade was especially made possible by the installation of Precision Approach Lighting System and Instrument Landing System (ILS) Category II, recently inaugurated by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

Sirika, during the inauguration of the equipment, said the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had expressed concerns over low activities at the aerodrome.

“From now on, you have the ILS, which can allow pilots, in reduced visibility and bad weather, to be able to shoot on approach and land in Benin, just like they will do in London. Also, it is no longer closure from 6 p.m. The operational capability of the airport has improved with the installation of these equipment,” Sirika said.

The minister also said the Ministry of State for Aviation, through Nigeria Meteorological Services (NIMET), has constructed and donated a meteorological station to the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

He hinted on the plan to construct a cargo terminal at the Benin Airport. “Here in Benin, We will site an Agro-allied Cargo Terminal. We will soon commence civil works and the governor had promised the state participation.”

Governor Obaseki, in his response acknowledged a cordial relationship with the Federal Government to be able to partner on projects.

“Benin Airport, which was built over 60 years ago is one of the oldest airports in the country. It is today being upgraded so that it can be ranked as an airport to match any other airport in the world by equipping it with the kind of instrument, which a modern day airport should have.”

On the airport landing aids and the proposed cargo terminal, the governor commented: “For you to have economic growth, you need to have the infrastructure. People must be able to come into your economy and leave freely. With these air transportation infrastructures, it will complement the effort we are currently making in the area of agriculture, industrialisation, tourism and culture and even education. What it means for us is that there are no excuses. Once people know that you can get in and out of Benin, then it helps business.”

Obaseki expressed his appreciation to the minister on the NIMET upgrade of its facilities and the equipment donated to Edo State. “That donation in my view is one of the most significant investments anybody, any government, and any city can make in the world today; because it helps you predict the weather accurately.”