The Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday disclosed plans to establish an aviation city in Osun State while it formally took possession of the MKO Abiola Airport, Ido-Osun, Osun State.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, who was represented by Air Vice Marshal, M. Onilede, recalled that NAF had earlier relocated its Research and Development Centre from Kaduna to Osogbo.
According to him, the aviation city will be established in addition to the existing NAF Institute of Safety and Special Operation at Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State.
He said, “Furthermore NAF intends to develop an aviation city in Osun State. Discussions are already ongoing with necessary foreign partners and work will commence as soon as an agreement is reached.
“The project would include an aircraft manufacturing plant, a maintenance repair organisation, and an unmanned aerial vehicle production centre among many others. It would be the first of its kind on the continent. The runway is, therefore, a critical requirement for these facilities. If we manufacture aircraft, there will be a need to test fly the aircraft.
“We are going to develop the runway, we are going to build a terminal that will be dual purpose. Instead of people going to Akure, Ibadan, or Lagos to take a flight. Once that place is ready, it would be available for civil flight operations.”
In his remarks, the Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, commended the NAF for situating the projects in Osun.
He said, “I would like to state here that request by the Nigerian Air Force for the State Government to cede the runway and the entire airport corridor to them shall be granted. The corridor will be developed for both military and civilian use.”