The Warri Airport, also known as the Osubi Airstrip, is an important airstrip and facility that is privately owned and operated by Shell. It is located at Osubi, a town near Warri in Delta State, about 10 minutes away from central Warri.
Prior to the construction of the present airport, a small airstrip had been created next to a congested part of the city of Warri during the 1960s. Its runway was approximately 0.7 kilometres in length, and it has a small terminal building and an aircraft hangar. Small charter aircraft of Aero Contractors and other domestic firms have provided services to and from Lagos and other Nigerian cities, and a few operators used the strip for business transactions that are directly or somewhat related to the oil business of Warri. Realizing the importance of the said airstrip to the city of Warri, the Federal Government of Nigeria drew up plans to build an airport in the late 1970s as an upgrade – an improvement to the present small airstrip – although the plan never materialised. Still after a few years, businessmen and people coming in and out of Warri has continued to use the small airstrip in the congested part of the city. The said airstrip could only accommodate small aircraft on its short runway, and whenever a plane took off or landed, authorities had to close off an adjacent road to traffic so that a passing car would not be clipped. Finding it harder and harder to conduct business, Shell decided to build one on its own and invest to create a facility for commercial use. The said facility was opened on April of 1999, by landing a modern Dornier 328 and aero contractor 50-feet Dash aircraft. It was called Osubi Airport.
Since its inception, the airport was deemed to be one of the busiest aviation facilities in Nigeria, handling mixed services and operated in partnership with other oil companies. As of the latest statistics, the airport has handled at least 417,000 passengers in 2009, and 3,500 aircraft movements (or more) in the same year. The Delta State, where Warri is located, is making plans with the operators to upgrade and build a longer second runway due to the increase in air traffic.
The airport has one commercial terminal handling the flights and other related services. Airlines that peruse the terminal include Aero Contractors and Arik Air, with flights to Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja.
Services and Facilities
The airport has one paved runway measuring 5,906 feet. The maintenance and facilities here too, are to be mentioned, because they are among the best in the country.