In a move aimed at transforming Plateau State’s transportation landscape, Governor Caleb Mutfwang has unveiled a vision to upgrade the Yakubu Gowon Airport to an international level. With the potential to transform the region’s connectivity and unlock an abundance of economic opportunities, this project promises to position Plateau State as a vibrant hub for global trade, tourism, and commerce.
What we know: On Wednesday, July 26, Mr Mutfwang tweeted details of his meeting with the manager of the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Rindam Domtur, where he disclosed his plan to upgrade the Yakubu Gowon Airport to an international status.
In his post, the Governor stated that ” This is not because Jos deserves it, but because it is associated with an Icon that we can not forget in Nigeria’s history. We must therefore bring honour unto that place by seeking collaboration and cooperation to make the airport regain its status as perhaps one of the strategic airport in the Northern part of the country.
Thus, He emphasised the need to engage the Ministry of Aviation to see how the state can also partner to get a Public-Private Partnership to bring life and attract activities to the supposed international airport.
Why it matters: With an international airport in Jos, there are numerous benefits, including convenient access to regional flights for individuals and businesses like uLesson.
In 2020, uLesson, an ed-tech company, moved its headquarters from Jos to Abuja because it was difficult to find flights to other regions from Jos. This happened when Max Air started operating in Jos, but at that time, only Arik Air flew from Jos to Lagos and now, both Arik Air and ValueJet offer flights on this route. However, despite these developments, the state’s air connectivity issues persist.
This accessibility allows them to establish their presence in Jos and take advantage of the airport’s connectivity to various destinations.
However, it is worth noting that the current state of the aviation industry in Jos, including local flights, is not particularly promising. The demand for flights, even at a local level, is relatively low. This poses a challenge to the growth and sustainability of the aviation industry in Jos, as it may struggle to attract sufficient passenger traffic to support regular flights and maintain profitability.
Zoom out: Currently only, two routes fly via the Yakubu Gowon Airport; Jos to Abuja and Lagos. It services three airlines: Max Air for Abuja, Arik Air and Valuejet for Lagos.