The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and 19 other industry operators have handed in their operational restart plans to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in preparation for the reopening of the country’s airspace to commercial flights beginning from 21st June.
Six airlines are reported to have met the airworthiness standards set by the regulator to enable them commence flight operations.
This is coming on the heels of the declaration by FAAN that individuals, who are not travelling, will not be granted entry into airport terminal buildings once commercial flights resume.
These formed parts of the discussion held by more than 300 operators in the aviation industry at a webinar conducted between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Among the participants at the event were the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika; NCAA Director-General, Musa Nuhu; National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sanni Aliyu and Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema.
Godwin Balang, General Manger Airline Operators’ Certificate and Surveillance at NCAA, disclosed that 20 stakeholders had submitted their restart plans.
“We have 11 recommendations and we have reviewed the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s recommendations. The guideline is going to reflect our last meeting with airlines.
“On recovery plan, 20 aviation stakeholders have submitted their restart plan so far.
“We have received from FAAN, plan on Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri; while those of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja came later,” he said.
The Director, Airworthiness Standards, NCAA, Ita Awak, informed participants that a number of airlines have met the airworthiness requirements of the operator.
“Six of the airlines have crossed the mark from the point of view of airworthiness.
“We have asked all the airlines that they should use only reagents that are approved by the Original Equipment Manufacturers of their different aircraft types to disinfect their machines.”
Sirika stated that the aim of the exercise was to put things in proper shape as the industry prepared to resume operations.
According to him, the Nigerian government is planning palliative measures for the sector.
“Palliative is being considered and it is for the whole industry. There will be a template and it will be fair to everyone in the industry,” the minister said.
An erstwhile Director-General of the NCAA, Harold Demuren, recommended that a simulation exercise be arranged before airports were reopened.
“Palliative is being considered and it is for the whole industry. There will be a template and it will be fair to everyone in the industry,” he said.
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