Ahead of the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Friday and the attendant traffic gridlock, an Aviation logistics firm, Tropical Arctic Logistics Limited (TAL) would start helicopter shuttle services to convey people from the Mainland to the Lagos Island.
We learnt that the advertisement materials of the helicopter service provider have been trending since the announcement of the partial closure which has triggered fear and apprehension from members of the public.
Despite assurances by the Federal Government that the closure would be partial, many residents of Lagos have expressed fear over the traffic gridlock which the partial closure would trigger.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had also announced alternatives routes including: Costain, Ebute-Metta and Ijora that road users could use during the period of the repair, a statement by Boade Akinola, Director of Press in the Ministry said.
Fashola had said: “The Bridge is 11.8km; we are closing 3.5km so it is a partial and not a total closure.”
We gathered that TAL has scheduled helicopter services to take care of the people especially the high net worth individuals who dread the gridlock that the closure might trigger.
The firm operates AugustaWestland AW139 Helicopters, Sikorsky S-92A helicopters, among others in its fleet, according to information gathered on its website.
A source told our correspondent that the service would cost $500 (N194, 000 at the official exchange rate) while a return ticket would cost $1000 (N388,000).
The flight takes off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) Ikeja to Ozumba Umbadiwe in Victoria Island.
The source who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he was not in a position to talk to the press said, “So far the response from people on the service has been very positive. Many businesses have made enquiries on this service and they are very much interested going by the kind of gridlock envisaged on the Third Mainland Bridge and the alternative roads when the partial closure takes effect.”
It was learnt that in keeping with the COVID-19 social distancing guideline, the flight would take only eight passengers instead of about 15 which it was configured to carry.