The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to repair Benin airport runway and erect perimeter fence at the airport.
This followed a motion by Enugu lawmaker, Omosede Igbinedion at plenary.
Moving the motion, Igbinedion explained that the Benin airport which was constructed in 1956, and located about 2km southwest of the ancient Benin Kingdom was one of the oldest airports in Nigeria.
She also said that the Airport was important to the people of Edo and Delta states, which currently did not render night services such as landing or taking off.
The lawmaker noted that in 2013, a 13-year-old Daniel Ohikhena stowed in the wheel of Arik Air flight W3544 to Lagos, among other incidences.
According to her, in 2015, the Airport was shut down for weeks to allow for upgrading of the runway and the firefighting department.
Igbinedion expressed concern about the gradual dilapidation of the Benin airport runway.
She also expressed worry about the absence of perimeter fence, which made the airport susceptible to trespass by both people and animals, and lack of capacity to operate flight travels beyond certain times in a day.
She recalled that when Saleh Dunoma, the Managing Director of FAAN, visited the Airport in 2017, he expressed the intention of the authority to concession the airport.
According to her, Dunoma also expressed the intention of the authority to partner with the Edo Government to operate 24 hours flight schedules daily.
She stressed the need to ensure security and safety in Nigeria’s aviation sector, and particularly improve the situation of the Benin Airport.
She also called for pro-active measures to ensure that the Benin airport was upgraded to meet International standards.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, called for the need to upgrade the navigational, communications and surveillance equipment at the Benin Airport Traffic Control Towers.
It also mandated its Committee on Aviation to visit the Benin airport to inspect and take an audit of the Airport Air Traffic Control Towers and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.