By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the federal government through the ministry of aviation and other relevant ones to reopen Warri airport for full flight operations.
The facility also named after Osubi where it is located in Okpe/Sapeie/vaie Federal constituency of Delta State was closed in February 2020.
The call for its reopening followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance sponsored by the lawmaker representing the constituency in the House, Hon. Oberuakpefe Anthony Afe at Tuesday plenary.
Moving the motion, Are recalled that “Warri airport also known as Osubi Airport is an important facility that was privately owned and operated by a shell. It is located at Osubi Community in Okpe Local Government Area which is under Okpe/Sapeie/vaie Federal constituency of Delta State.”
It will also be recalled that Shell Petroleum Development Company built the Airport on its own and was commissioned on 15th April 1991, landing a modern Dornier 328 and Aero Contractors 50 Passenger Dash Aircraft reckoned to be one of the busiest aviation facilities in Nigeria and it was been operated in partnership with other oil companies.
The Airport was later acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2015 and was leased out to Shoreline oil Services Ltd (SOSL) who managed the facility until the recent termination of their contract in February 2020.
“The termination was as a result of a myriad of complaints by airline operators who use the airport. It was alleged that there were instances Shoreline Oil Services Ltd (SOSL) could not provide power for the aircraft to land or take off and inability to fulfil the financial commitment to Federal Government Agencies such as FAAN, NCAA, and NAMA.
Considering the importance of the Airport to Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Operations and other commercial activities in the region, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation should consider the re-opening of the Airport for operation.
“The report available from the different agencies concern, such as Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) etc. indicated that the Airport as viable and still meets up with every necessary precautionary safety measures especially during this Covid 19 Pandemic”, Afe said.
Adopting the motion, the House also urged other relevant agencies of the federal government to ensure that the airport was reopened for operations as soon as possible.