…domestic passengers will now get to the airport three hours before departure.
In preparation for the resumption of commercial flights in the Nigeria airspace, a dry run test led by the country’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika was conducted today, June 27th alongside members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
In a press statement released by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the dry run test which is a simulation exercise at the domestic terminals of Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos was aimed at accessing the readiness of the airports for flight resumption.
The simulation exercise began in Abuja as passengers were taken through the Post Covid-19 departure protocols en-route Lagos on a Boeing 737 Aero Contractor’s flight. The team from Abuja arrived at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos at about 1200hours. Passengers on board the flight were facilitated in line with the normal procedural order of arrival facilitation.
In assessment of the readiness of the airports, the coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu after going through the simulation process said” Aviation is a highly regulated sector and this is the new normal. Aviation is highly regulated industry and one of the reasons why we wanted aviation to go first. Looking at the way that security and everything else has changed, aviation has done spectacularly well, they have shown what they are able to do as they are highly regulated. They have shown competence.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika expressed his delight at the level of facilities on ground. He added that going by the measures that have been put in place, the airports are about 90% ready to reopen.
According to Sirika, domestic passengers will now have to get to the airports three hours before departure, while international passengers would be expected to get to the airports about five hours before their flight. This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitizing, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items, etc. are complied with forthwith.
“We want to assure the public that once we restart, there will be sanitizers, and there will be where to pick the bags. We have trained our staff to ensure the physical distancing, we have guided people sufficiently. We have reduced the amount of people that are on hold”.
Speaking on the palliative for the aviation sector, the minister noted that the Federal Government represented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Finance will be announcing the amount for the palliative within the week.
Other dignitaries that witnessed the simulation exercise includes; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, HM. of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, HM. of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, amongst several other stakeholders.