Flight operations have commenced at the Bayelsa International Airport with inaugural flight by United Nigeria Airline from the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA2), Lagos.
Full commercial activities would also begin at the airport in two weeks’ time.
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State led other Bayelsans in the inaugural flight which landed a little after 4.00pm on Wednesday. Diri quoted the pilot as saying that the runway is one of the best in the country.
Diri sang two Christian choruses in English and Ijaw, as he addressed an enthusiastic crowd at the airport, thanking late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and his predecessor, Henry Seriake Dickson as well as his team for their efforts while urging Bayelsans wishing to travel through the airport to book early to get discounts.
He also thanked the members of the National Assembly for their presence and show of solidarity and particularly, leader of the Bayelsa caucus in the House of Representatives, Preye Oseke representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency.
In their goodwill messages, Cleopas Moses, representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, said all federal lawmakers from the state were united behind the governor’s efforts to develop the state.
Former military governor of old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff who is also the chairman of the traditional rulers council, had words of support for the governor, while the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere took a swipe at those who criticised them for approving funds for the airport project.
Obiora Okonkwo, chairman of United Nigeria Airlines thanked the governor’s team for their resilience which culminated in the inaugural commercial flight saying he was happy to be part of such a unifying event in the heart of Ijaw land.