By Chinelo Obogo
Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has approved the serving of prepackaged, sealed meals while passengers are disembarking but said consumption of food is prohibited in-flight.
This directive was contained in an All Operators Letter (AOL) signed by the NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu with Ref: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/312 and addressed to Accountable Managers titled: ‘Public health guidelines for companies providing in- flight catering services to airlines operating domestic flights.
It warned that non-compliance with the directive would attract appropriate sanctions.
The letter read: “Catering Service providers have been identified by the Authority as key service providers to airlines that are required to put in place COVID-19 risk management measures to assure the travelling public that catering products (meals, snacks etc) served on board flights are not a potential source of COVID-19 infection.
“With the resumption of domestic flight operations in the country in-flight catering companies were required by the Authority to carry out regular risk assessments of their operations and put in place remedial actions to address any identified hazard to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 virus to their customers through their products.
“Catering in form of packed meals (food and snacks) can be served on domestic flights by in-flight catering companies who have carried out appropriate risk assessment and have the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
“Domestic airlines shall serve pre-packed catering products in sealed containers to their passengers during disembarkation. No catering products shall be served or consumed in-flight by airlines or passengers respectively on any domestic flight.
“This AOL supersedes previous AOLs issued on in-flight catering services on domestic flights with respect to COVID-19 restrictions/limitations.”
Meanwhile, staff of Air Peace said it apprehended a man and a woman (names witheld) suspected to be human traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, Lagos on Monday, June 7, while attempting to catch a flight to Asaba airport.