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Bebi airstrip opens for commercial flight services


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Cross River

BEBI Airstrip, Obudu shut down 5 months ago is now set to receive commercial flights with fully equipped navigational equipment.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authourity (NACA) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had shut down the Airstrip some months ago on grounds of poor landing facilities.

Challenged by this situation, the Cross River State Government swung into action and purchased Doppler Very High Frequency Ominidirectional Range(DVOR) and Instrument Landing System (ILS)

Briefing newsmen recently in Obudu during a media tour, the Airstrip Manager Mr. Chinere Okonkwo said the DVOR equipment helps in directing and guiding aircrafts heading to Obudu from their take-off points and “it tells you the miles and the location of the airport and it can also help on bad weather while the ILS helps plane to land at not too bad weather. But if the weather is too bad the plane does not come down”.

He said that the installation of the equipment started last year and it is now ready for test run before handing it over after calliberation is given by NAMA and it will run for 24 hours.

He said that the airstrip was shut down in November last year but was later reopened with the orders of the Minister of Aviation for chattered flights.

The Bebi Airstrip has a run way of 1.8 kilometres and according to Okonkwo the airstrip was capable of receiving Dash 8, ATR 42, Donnier 338 and other light aircrafts with 54 passengers capacity.

Okonkwo conducting newsmen round the facilities of the Airstrip during the just-concluded State-wide media tour, the Manager explained that the equipment, which is 200 optimal miles, was installed by the State Government to forestall any incident of air mishap involving travelers to the famous Obudu Ranch Resort through the Bebi Airstrip.

Major challenge of the DVOR, Mr. Okoronkwo stressed is power supply, which he said is irregular, accounting for the 20 drums of diesel it consumes monthly to power the equipment.

He appealed to the State Government to ensure regular supply of power to the Airport to further power the ILS, which he said is another significant equipment at the Airstrip.

Okoronkwo also called on the Government to quicken the fencing of major equipment at the Airport to protect them from vandalization and unauthorized access.

He commended the State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for his rural transformation agenda, which, has helped in uplifting the Status of Obudu, adding that the only way of retaining the Status is by adopting a maintenance culture in order to prolong the lives of facilities and projects in the Area.

Article credit: Guardian Newspaper

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Updated 4 Years ago
 

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