- The NAF Base Makurdi runway is now open to civil operations
- The repair work at the Makurdi military airfield which started late last year were aimed at improving flight safety in accordance with global best practices
- The NAF Works Centre Abuja, which had executed the project through direct labour, was congratulated for doing a good job
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has opened the NAF Base Makurdi runway to civil operations, which repair works started late last year.
NAF had informed members of the public that the repair activities were aimed at improving flight safety in accordance with global best practices, and promised that the project will be completed in January 2019.
Legit.ng gathered that it was declared open by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Thursday, January 10, during his operational visit to the 21 Quick Response Wing (21 QRW) NAF Base Agatu, Benue state to assess facilities as well as the state of readiness of the troops of the wing to deal with threats within the area.
Before declaring the Runway open to civil flight operations, the CAS was conducted on an inspection tour of the completed works by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Oladayo Amao.
According to AVM Amao, the scope of the rehabilitation work covered refreshing of the sealant for the concrete slab joints on the runway, taxiways and apron as well as the resurfacing of cracked portions of the manoeuvring area, re-marking of the runway and erosion control, amongst others.
Speaking after the inspection, the CAS commended the AOC TAC for effective supervision of the project and also congratulated the NAF Works Centre Abuja, which had executed the project through direct labour, for doing a good job.
He added that the repairs, which had necessitated the closure of the Airfield to civil flight operations, as published in relevant Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), were aimed at improving flight safety in accordance with global best practices as well as in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.
He further stated that a NOTAM had also been promulgated by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to reopen the airfield for normal operations.
In Agatu, the CAS was received by the traditional ruler of Agatu, Chief Dr Godwin Ngbede Onah, who conveyed the appreciation of his people to the NAF for its immense contributions to the return of normalcy in the area.
The CAS was thereafter conducted on a tour of some facilities at the 21 QRW Base by the Commanding Officer 21 QRW, Squadron Leader Victor Ajeye, who also briefed him on the activities of the Wing since its activation in October 2019.
Speaking after the brief, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the level of the facilities so far, while promising that immediate action would be taken to meet the additional needs of the unit.
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He thanked the troops for their hard work, diligence and commitment, which had ensured that peace was maintained in Agatu community, thus allowing the people to pursue their legitimate aspirations. He urged them to remain focused on their tasks while eschewing overtures from any quarters to get involved in duties outside their purview.
Meanwhile, the federal government plans to spend at least N27 billion in the 2019 budget on the acquisition of three thunder aircraft and support equipment for Nigerian troops fighting insurgency and banditry in many parts of the country.
Details of the allocations are contained in the 2019 budget breakdown recently released by the government.
According to the fiscal document, the federal government also intends to acquire an unmanned aerial vehicle with the sum of N666.7 million and allocate another N1 billion for the purchase of troop carriers for the military.
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