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June 21 re-opening of airports for flight operations unrealistic —Senate

The Senate said on Thursday the proposed June 21 re-opening of the nation’s airports for flight operations was unrealistic, following concerns raised by workers in the aviation industry.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, stated this when the committee met with officials of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Air Transport Services.

The union officials had raised concerns experienced by the workers from their various employers.

They told the committee, in their separate presentations, that workers had not been paid salaries for some months, while some were paid half or received quarter salary by their various employers since the COVID-19 lockdown began in March.

The aviation workers added that there was the need for a special financial intervention and provision of necessary protocols and protective systems before reopening the airports for operations.

Adeyemi said the Senate was concerned about the issues raised by the aviation workers, adding that the aviation sector is vital to the socio-economic development of any country.

READ ALSO: FAAN, 19 other operators submit plans for reopening of airports

.The committee chairman said: “Though you emphasized the need to unlock the airport, but the fact remains that there are quite a number of issues that are begging for answers.

“I do not see how we will allow the airports to be unlocked when you are telling us that some of your colleagues have not been paid for months or that they were paid half salary.

“It will be suicidal to allow you guys to man the facilities, if you are saying that you have not been paid, so we must see how we can address this issue.

“I personally nurse the fear that it will be practically impossible for us to unlock the airports and aviation industry on June 21, given the issues raised.”

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