Asaba was agog on Thursday as the first international flight landed at the Asaba Airport to convey the Nigeria Super Eagles to South Africa, with the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Captain Yahaya Pam, Pilot, Max Air, saying that
facilities at the airport were among the best in the country and of international standard.
The Boeing 737 aircraft belonging to Max Air, one of Nigeria’s leading airline touched down at exactly 5:22pm to palpable excitement with members of the State Executive Council, a delegation from the Palace of the Asagba of Asaba and deltans on ground to witness the historic event which would forever remain indelible in their minds.
Speaking with journalists at the airport, the pilot of the airplane, Captain Yahaya Pam said the Asaba Airport runway was among the top three in the country, “ it is very smooth, good and long in line with international standards”, adding that the ramp was of top notch.
He commended the state government for the facilities at the airport.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Honourable Festus Ovie Agas described the event as a dream come true and a major feat in the fulfillment of the SMART agenda of government.
He explained that the recent upgrade of the airport especially the improvement on the runway has made this effort possible, stressing that a provisional approval was given to the airport to airlift the team to South Africa for their match against Bafana Bafana.
Obi Ngozi Kowea, leader of the delegation from the Asagba of Asaba palace, said that with the successful landing and subsequent take-off of the first international flight, critics of Governor Okowa has been proved wrong, and gave the assurance that the Asaba people were fully behind him in next year’s election and throughout his tenure in office.
In their remarks, Information Commissioner, Patrick Ukah and the Director of the Asaba Airport Project, Mr. Austin Ayemidejor said that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA has upgraded the Asaba airport to category six.
Members of the Super Eagles boarded the airplane with code number 5N-MHM at 6.55 pm in high spirit enroute the Republic of South Africa ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Bafana Bafana football team in a Nation’s Cup qualifier.