The Federal Government has announced the reopening of Osubi Airport in Delta State to commercial flight, further disclosing that it will now be managed by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as against the former operator of the facility, Shorelines Oil Services Limited.
The Airport Manager, Mr Wilson Egwato, while speaking at the reopening ceremony on Friday at Osubi Airport in Okpe Local Government Area, said that the routes would be expanded soonest.
Egwato said that the airport currently operated Warri-Lagos and Warri-Abuja flights.
“We intend to open more routes because the market is very large and viable. The business is here and we are ready for it.
“Before now, we had three airlines: Arik Air, Air Peace and Aero operating at the airport, but with this reopening, we are having the United Nigeria Airline (UNA) and we are expecting more.
“UNA is setting up its office here. I believe that before the end of July, they will fly Lagos and Abuja,’’ he said.
He also revealed that the airport, which was inaugurated in 1999, was jointly established by Shell and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), with the former owning 45 per cent shares and NNPC 55 per cent shares.
“In 2015, Shell later divested its shares into deep offshore exploration activities, while Shorelines Oil Services Limited took over. Shorelines Oil Services was only terminated as operatorship as far as Osubi airport is concerned, and not as ownership.
“It, therefore, means that FAAN is here to run the airport on behalf of the joint owners, Shorelines Oil Services Limited and NNPC,’’ he stated.
Speaking at the event, the Speaker, Delta House of Assembly, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed joy at the re-opening of the airport saying that they are delighted to witness the re-make of history because when the airport was first inaugurated, it was the first of its kind in the state.
It can be recalled that the federal government shut down commercial operations at the airport in February 2020, following the inability of the former operator of the facility, Shorelines Oil Services Limited, to run it optimally.