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FG reopens Warri Airport in Delta

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FG reopens Warri Airport in Delta

By Edeki Igafe

The federal government has reopened commercial flights to Osubi Airport in Delta.

Speaking at the reopening ceremony Friday at Osubi Airport in the Okpe local government area, airport manager Mr. Wilson Egwato said the roads would be widened at the earliest.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) recalls that the federal government shut down commercial operations at the airport in February 2020, following the inability of the former operator of the facility, Shorelines Oil Services Limited, to make it work optimally.

NAN also reports that the airport is now managed by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Egwato said the airport currently operates Warri-Lagos and Warri-Abuja flights.

“We intend to open more roads because the market is very large and viable. The company is here and we are ready for it.

“Before we had three airlines: Arik Air, Air Peace and Aero operating at the airport, but with this reopening we have United Nigeria Airline (UNA) and we expect more.

“The UNA is setting up its office here. I think before the end of July they will fly to Lagos and Abuja, ”said the airport manager.

He added that the airport, which was inaugurated in 1999, was jointly established by Shell and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the former holding 45 percent of the shares and NNPC 55 percent.

“In 2015, Shell then sold its shares to deep offshore exploration activities, while Shorelines Oil Services Limited took over.

“Shorelines Oil Services was only terminated as an operator with respect to Osubi Airport, not as a property.

“So that means FAAN is there to manage the airport on behalf of the co-owners, Shorelines Oil Services Limited and NNPC,” he said.

In his remarks, the president of the Delta House of Assembly, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed his joy at the reopening of the airport.

“One year after the closure, we are here to witness the reopening of this airport by the federal government. For me, this is a milestone for the Delta and Okpe local government area in particular.

“We are here to witness the revamping of history. I say this because on April 17, 1999, when the airport opened, it was the first of its kind in the state.

“It grabbed the headlines as a major breakthrough in air travel in Delta.

“Unfortunately, following a controversy involving the aviation service providers and the management of the airport, it was closed in February 2020,” Oborevwori said.

He thanked the federal government, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Royal Fathers for their various roles in reopening the airport.

The speaker added that the airport would increase revenue generation, both for the state and the federal government.

(NAN)

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