…Set new protocols for sector
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that airports across the country are almost ready to reopen for domestic flights to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister said this at a press briefing in Lagos, Saturday June 27, after an Aero Contractors plane dry test run flight was made from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
He said, “We must make sure the aircrafts are airworthy and certified fit to fly. We will ensure that every single pilot and aircrew have done their proficiency test.”
Speaking still, Sirika noted that all of these procedures are recommended practices and the sector is almost ready to begin, at least about 90 per cent in that aspect.
According to him, the test run of airports facilities aims to determine the readiness for the resumption of domestic flight operations after it was shut down in March to curtail the global pandemic.
The aviation ministry reiterated that the sector is not ready to resume flights operation on the proposed date.
New airport measures
Sirika explained that passengers for domestic and international flights would arrive three and five hours respectively before boarding as part of measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will help reduce all sources of contamination. All protocol guidelines put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) must be observed,” says the minister.
Meanwhile, he said persons not permitted to be at the airport would not gain access in. He stressed, “All protocols will be enforced right from the drop off points”.
Passengers are meant to remove their face masks for security operatives to confirm their identity before flying.
Part of the readiness of the airports, according to him, is the automated dispensing of soap and water at the toilets and limitation to a maximum of five persons in the restroom.
His words, “Efforts will be made to ensure aircraft accommodates everyone without creating additional burdens for passengers.”
“Airlines have been given permission to carry out a dry run of flights across the country to ensure the airworthiness of the planes.”
The national coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness by the aviation sector.
“I’m pleased to say the aviation industry has done spectacularly well. They have shown what they are able to do as a highly regulated sector.
He, however, highlighted the need for citizens to be disciplined. “It now depends on Nigerians to be disciplined because some people are not still wearing their masks properly”.
Aliyu further advised, “What will protect you is yourself and your behaviour. You have to challenge other citizens putting you at risk.”Follow us on social media