Bayelsa Airlines and Bristow Helicopters on Wednesday in Yenagoa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the provision of aviation services that would ease transportation for commuters both within and outside Bayelsa State.

Governor Seriake Dickson expressed optimism that the partnership would go a long way in boosting tourism and business operations, and reduce travel time from Yenagoa to Lagos and other parts of the country.

The signing ceremony took place at the newly inaugurated Grand Pavilion and Boat Club located at the Oxbow Lake in the state capital.

Dickson in statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Agbo, said the government’s involvement in deal was partly to ensure affordability.

He called on the people of the state, corporate organisations and the general public to avail themselves of the services, stressing that the Yenagoa Heliport now re-named King Diete-Spiff Heliport had been providing shuttle services.

The governor restated his administration’s commitment to completing the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport this year to complement aviation services.

He also announced ban on fishing, dredging and farming activities around the Oxbow Lake axis, adding that the government would acquire more land in the area and pay appropriate compensation to the owners.

Dickson said, “Today, we are here to witness a seaplane land in Yenagoa in furtherance of our objective of taking Bayelsa to the world and bringing the world to Bayelsa.

“Our state is prepared to partner with the private sector as it is open and safe for business. Bayelsa is the world’s best kept secret and that is why we will keep cresting a conducive environment for the private sector to come here to unveil this secret and tap the potential that abound.

“The services Bristow would render are to take our people in Bayelsa, right from Yenagoa straight to Lagos, Abuja and to all our communities”.

In his remarks, a representative of Bristow Helicopters, Dapo Oyeleke, thanked the state government for not only creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, but also showing commitment to the partnership, especially with the signing of the MoU.

Highpoints of the event were the landing of a Bristow Seaplane with registration number 5N-BIW at the Oxbow Lake and a ride with Governor Dickson, his Deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd) and Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, on board.

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