By David Ejiohuo
Effort to get an international safety certification for the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, at the outskirts of Port Harcourt was today climaxed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that effect.
The signing of the MOU is one of the major conditions and an aspect of the processes to bring the officials of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety, as the regulatory bodies and the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN, as manager) together for the operation.
The Director of Operations for the FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu, the Regional Manager of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Ojo Afolabi, and the General Manager (Safety), signed on behalf of the FAAN while Emmanuel Silver signed for the APEX in Safety and the ICAO.
It was gathered that should the Port Harcourt International Airport pass through the tests and gets the International Certification on Safety, It would go a long way to improve the image of the embattled airport in the heart of Niger Delta in the eyes of the international community.
Addressing journalists at the airport shortly after the signing of the MOU, the FAAN Operations Manager, Yadudu, disclosed that the officials of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the APEX in Safety as well as the officials of the FAAN had been in the state for the past one week to inspect several facilities and departments at the Airport.
The team, he further pointed out, would still be at the airport for another one week to conclude their mission in the state.
Answering questions, Yadudu expressed optimism that the airport would pass the tests, contrary to expectations. “We are surprised with what we met on ground; ranging from the facilities, the personnel and whatever we were looking for. I am happy with the situation on ground”.