By Ushang Ewa
The manager of the state operated Bebi airstrip at the Obudu Ranch Resort, Glory Asuquo says the resumption of flight operations has not been given much publicity as expected.
In a telephone interview with CrossRiverWatch, Glory decried the low publicity given to the airstrip which is likely to have a negative impact on expectations and business.
“The adverts have been very minimal and not really pronounced as we expected. We really want it blown so that people will know flight operations have resumed with flights scheduled for Fridays and Sundays for a fee of 10,000 Naira. We have been in operation since late May” she said.
Glory also decried the inability of the contractor handling the control of erosion in the airstrip to complete the project saying it will affect operations. “There is the problem of erosion, a contract was given for that and paid for but the contractor refused to work and it is really affecting our landings. The airliners don’t want to come in because of that. We have been trying to get across to the contractor, he has been running away.
“I have taken the issue to the ministry of works and they are handling it. He (the contractor) is not ready to do the job. As far as I am concerned, there was no supervision from the ministry of works. I am just the manager. I could not have gone to ask why this is not done. I tried talking to him (the contractor) that his job was shabby but he saw me as an intruder. What I did was write a report on what I saw and forwarded it to the state ministry of works” she says.
She gave the contractor’s name as Egbe and stressed that no airline will want to return upon seeing such incomplete work on the erosion site. She narrated a situation that caused the seizure of her license when the contractor left some working materials on the runway forcing a flight to land coming in from another angle.
According to her, her license has since been reinstated after she mobilized staff and locals to evacuate the materials.
The airstrip which serves primarily as the aviation gateway to the Obudu ranch resort as earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch makes Cross River the only state in Nigeria with a flight route connecting two operational airports within the state.
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