By; Cletus Ukpong
An equipment meant to aid the take-off and landing of aircraft has been stolen at the Benin Airport, Edo State, South-South Nigeria, the state government said.
“The Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the theft of part of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) being installed at the Benin Airport,” a statement issued on Thursday by the Edo State Government House, Benin, said.
The Benin Airport is owned and operated by the federal government.
The equipment, according to the statement, were bought a few days ago by the state government to enable aircraft take off and land at the airport on 24 hours basis.
The statement said, “The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a radio navigation system which provides aircraft with horizontal and vertical guidance before and during landing.”
It added, “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.”
A disappointed Mr Obaseki, who was on a tour of the facility at the airport, is said to have directed the Nigerian intelligence service, the State Security Service (SSS) to immediately investigate and fish out those behind the theft.
“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,” the governor was quoted as saying in a meeting with a senior official of the Nigerian Airforce, before he inspected the facilities at the airport.
“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.
“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,” Mr Obaseki said.
Officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) accompanied the governor on the facility tour.