Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has released COVID-19 Pandemic Public Health Protocols for Nigerian based crew operating international flights, stating that the flight crew will not be quarantined but must undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at a cost to the air operator upon return to Nigeria and crew members who test positive will be taken to a treatment centres for further management.
The protocol also states that flight crew must now wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of the flight. This is as the NCAA is also considering the gradual lifting of domestic travel restrictions with the re-opening of four or five airports at a time and also carrying out campaigns to rebuild confidence and encourage people to resume flying.
In a letter with reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/120 dated May 27, 2020 and signed by the Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, to all operators, airports and other service providers, the new protocol approved by Federal Ministry of Health replaces the current practice where Nigerian based flight crew members who operate international flights are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.
According to the letter, Nigerian based airlines and crew wishing to conduct flight operations outside the country shall be required to ensure orientation and sensitisation of crew on Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures as per training and guidance from public health authorities. They would ensure they have adequate stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), minimum 70percent alcohol-based hand sanitisers and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) on board aircraft before the flight. “Flight crew members will have no physical contact with any persons while in a foreign country, including ground handling staff, airline staff, embassy staff, drivers, protocol officers, hotel/accommodation staff etc.
Upon return to Nigeria flight crew will not be quarantined but will undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at cost to the Air Operator. Crew members who test positive for COVID-19 will be taken to a treatment center for further management.