By Adeola Badru
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has expressed the readiness of the Air Force to key into the plan of Governor Seyi Makinde to expand the Ibadan airport.
Abubakar, stated this when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Makinde at Governor’s Office, State Secretariat, Ibadan.
Speaking, Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force embraced the airport expansion initiative because of the opportunity it offered to position its aircraft in Ibadan and expand its current base in Ibadan.
While soliciting for the support of the Oyo state government, he added that the expansion was also in line with the resolve of the Air Force to rejig its structure in the South West for more effective operation.
“We are looking at the South West. We realized we have only a base in Lagos, Ibadan and Ipetu-Ijesha. We are critically looking at the gaps in existence in the South West structure.”
“We are very excited to note that you are interested in expanding the Ibadan airport and we want to key into that initiative so that, at the end of the day, we will have a base that is better than what we have right now in Ibadan.”
“We are interested to key into the expansion plan so that we can have Ibadan as another base for the C130 aircraft that we operate in Lagos so that when we have any problem, we don’t have to fly from Lagos.”
“We can position our aircraft here and operate from here. So, I solicit the support of Your Excellency and your government so that when we finally come in, we will get all the support that we require from the state government,” Abubakar said.
Responding, Governor Makinde asserted the resolve of the state government to expand the Ibadan airports such that aircrafts can refuel in Ibadan rather than going to Lagos.
He added that the award of the Ife Road-Ajia-Airport road project was also to engender free movement for the expected increase in traffic flow that will come with the expansion of the Ibadan airport.
Makinde assured of providing the needed support to enhance the operation of the Air Force in Oyo State.