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C'River Govt To Upgrade Margaret Ekpo Int'l Airport Calabar To Acceptable Standards

The Cross River State Government has disclosed its intention to upgrade the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar with modern facilities that will meet internationally acceptable operational standards to boost the proposed influx of Airline activities at the Airport in Calabar.

The Commissioner of Aviation Retired Captain Eno Utum Inah, made the disclosure while reacting to the reception of a brand new Aircraft by the State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu in Calabar recently.

Captain Inah explained the importance of upgrading the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, as part of the preparation for the licencing of Cross River as an Air transport operator.

"We are currently Calibrating the Margret Ekpo International Airport to ensure that VOR and ILS systems are functional. We are identifying for removal any obstructions along or close to the runway. This to enhance  the smooth take off and safe landing of aircrafts ",

"The management team is focused, determined and committed to its current mandate towards the formal licencing of Cross River Airline with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)", he added".

The Aviation Commissioner emphasized Government's desire to meet all preconditions to secure an Air transport Licence ( ATL) and Air Operator Certificate ( AOC) from the Nigerian Aviation Authority pointing out that by 2024, Cross River will pride itself as a bonafide independent airline with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority  (NCAA) after due registration.

" My principal, H.E. Prince Bassey Edet Otu is a man of his words. He is passionate about the success of the aviation industry and therefore poised to lay a solid foundation to ensure our meeting all regulations requirements of aviation sector regulatory agencies", Inah added.

According to him, Cross River owned Cally Air will soon become an airline of first choice with the construction of Hangers for the repairs and maintenance of aircraft, the calibration of the landing systems of the Airport's runway to accommodate the safe landing of all types of aircrafts, the establishment of an Aviation College as well as an Aviation club where pilots can converge in Calabar for flying leisure.

He noted that already, five investors are competing to be part of the Cross River aviation industry under a Public - Private Partnership/financing arrangements, in their desire to institute a safe, profitable and permanently reliable airline as co-investors. He added that based on their separate terms sheets, Government will select the best option out of the five.

Captain Inah used the opportunity to dispel rumors that the State-owned Aircrafts were hired emphasizing, " the Aircrafts were fully paid for and are generating revenue for the state".

"The performance of the two functional Aircrafts is fantastic and Government is not spending a dime", the Commissioner disclosed.

By Hannah Arikpo, The Beagle News