Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday announced September 5th, as the date for the full resumption of international flights in the country.
Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, made the announcement Thursday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the shift in date was necessitated by the logistical challenges which must be addressed before flight resumption.
Nuhu, who was representing the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said the forms for COVID-19 test and other preparations to forestall the spread of the virus have to be put in place and hence the need to extend by one week.
He said the country is pushing ahead with the implementation of the principle of reciprocity against the nationals of some countries that are imposing stringent traveling conditions on Nigerian citizens on the bases of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Nuhu said a comprehensive list of the affected countries will be released to the public alongside the COVID-19 protocols.
The DG NCAA said: since the announcement by the minister of aviation some weeks ago of the resumption of international flight on the 29th of August, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready and the aviation sector including the airports are ready.
However, due to some logistics challenges mostly which has to do with COVID-19 protocols and also the online platform. We need to get all these in place so that we can move smoothly and have efficient resumption of international flights.
So, for these reasons, unfortunately I have to let you know that the resumption date has been shifted by one week to 5th of September which is now a
Sacrosanct date. The initial announcement was August 29th but now we have now fixed a tentative date of 5th of September as now the sacrosanct date for the resumption of international flight.
“In due course, very shortly we will be announcing the protocols once these logistics are done. There are protocols on resumption and also we will be giving further details on the principle of reciprocity that we mentioned. We are looking at the list, we are working on that and in a couple of days hopefully next week, we will release the list.”
Countries in the European Union (EU) had included Nigeria on the list of banned countries on July 1st, 2020 when they opened their airspace for international flights.
The Ministry of Aviation it will be recalled had said only about 1280 passengers will be allowed in on a daily basis in Abuja and Lagos airports, when the country resumes international flights.