Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has announced that henceforth travellers are to arrive one and a half hours before their departure time for domestic flights.
A month before the resumption of commercial flights in the country, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria had advised passengers to arrive at airports at least three hours before flight time.
This was part of the new protocols for the restart of flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sirika said at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Monday that the decision followed the review of passenger facilitation at the nation’s airports.
The minister said the dry run carried out in Lagos and Kano airports has revealed that the COVID-19 protocols which including efficient checks and screening before boarding can be done within 90 minutes.
Sirika said all airports are now compliant with COVID-19 guidelines and that departure and arrivals times have been staggered to avoid the departure and arrival halls being congested.
‘After the dry run and having been to Lagos and Kano, we found out that because we are sequencing the flights, they come in, in an organized manner and depart, we found out that we are able to meet all our protocols and meet our flights when we arrive an hour and a half for our domestic flights. What we said earlier was that you arrive three hours before, we wanted to err on the side of caution. We wanted to make sure that when you arrive you do not create a bad situation for us. But now we are definitely sure that if you get to the airport an hour and a half before, you will have time to park your car, carry your luggage and get board. But we will recommend that you check-in online. Checking in online will save you a lot of time and hassles at the airport. And should we commence international flight it will still be three hours before departure,’ he said.
‘So, we will keep sequencing the flight in an orderly manner so as not to cause congestion.’