Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days - NCAA declares

Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days - NCAA declares

- NCAA has said that airports in Nigeria would soon be re-opened

- Captain Musa Nuhu, the director-general of NCAA, the airports would be opened in few days

- The federal government had on March 13, shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks.

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The director-general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said major airports in the country would in the next few days roar into life after weeks of inactivity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

The Nation reports that Nuhu stated this at a virtual event organised by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) titled COVID-19: The challenges and opportunity for Nigeria’s aviation value chain, during and post.

Legit.ng gathered that the airports are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Airport, Choba, Rivers state.

The federal government had on March 16, placed a travel ban on 13 countries, including China, the United States, and Italy that had recorded over 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

According to the report, on March 13, the federal government shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks.

Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days - NCAA declares
Murtala International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos state. Credit: The Nation.
Source: Twitter

Nuhu said the NCAA worked with representatives of airlines and ground handling companies before forwarding a proposal to the minister of aviation for approval.

The NCAA boss said: “We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we hope to expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up.

“Every money is important and we cannot achieve the two-meter physical distance. We are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve those issues and allow the airlines to commence operations.

“We have made our suggestion and recommendations and we are awaiting feedback from the ministry of aviation.”

Nuhu said air transport must be safe and not become part of the ways of spreading coronavirus.

He stated that physical distancing was an issue as discussions were still on leaving the middle seats in an aircraft vacant.

NCAA has, however, released COVID-19 protocols as approved by the federal ministry of health for the aviation industry.

The protocols are for Nigeria-based crew operating international flights.

The crew members are now required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of their flights.

Nuhu, who announced the approval of the new protocols in a letter to airline operators, airports, and other service providers, added that the crew members would not be quarantined but would undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at the expense of their employers.

According to the letter, the new protocols replace the current practice where Nigeria- based international flight crew members are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.

He added that in the new protocols, the airliners must ensure among others, orientation and sensitization of their crew on Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) measures.

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The protocols also state that airlines must have adequate stock of PPE, a minimum 70 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) onboard every aircraft.

The letter read in part: “Onboard the flight crew will request passengers wash their hands after using the lavatory, apply the disinfectant spray in lavatory every 60 minutes during the flight and maintain a safe distance between passengers and themselves; avoid direct physical contact and serve only pre-packed meals to passengers.

“Flight deck crew must wear non-medical face masks and gloves but can remove face masks when the cockpit door is closed.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government evacuated 292 who were stranded in Saudi Arabia due to the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was reported that the flight conveying the evacuees arrived Nigeria on the night of Tuesday, May 19, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

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Source: Legit.ng

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