The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the theft of part of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) being installed at the Benin Airport, and directed the Nigerian Air Force and the Department of State Security to investigate and arrest the culprits.
Obaseki gave the directive after inspecting facilities and components that make up the ILS being installed by the state government in collaboration with relevant federal government agencies.
The installation of the facilities is expected to make room for 24-hour operations at the Benin Airport.
Before inspecting the facilities, the governor had a closed-door meeting with the Commander, 107 Air Maritime Group, of the Nigerian Air Force, Wing Commander, Fatai Ganiyu, who later accompanied the governor on inspection of the equipment, with officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
Obaseki directed the Wing Commander and State Director of the State Security Service to immediately launch an investigation into the incident, adding, “I assured Edo people that our Airport will render 24-hour services and we have been working on that with the relevant federal government agencies to see how we can get the necessary equipment in place to allow this happen.
“We have been able to secure the ILS and the necessary equipment, we also have an agreement to put runway lights so that planes can be guided to land at night. Work has started but there is little incident as some of the equipment bought last week have been stolen. We have brought in security agencies to investigate and get the culprits arrested and ensure the work proceeds as desired,” Obaseki added.
He noted that the state government provided bulk of the resources used for the ILS project not minding that the airport is a federal asset, noting, “Our goal is to ensure that before the harmattan season, the Benin Airport will be ready to function as a 24/7 Airport and more importantly, have the landing system to navigate flights even in bad weather.”
The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a radio navigation system which provides aircraft with horizontal and vertical guidance before and during landing.
A source at the airport who does not want his name in print, said some equipment in the Glide Slope, a component of the ILS, which provides the vertical guidance was stolen while facilities at the localiser component were intact.