Since commencement of domestic flight operations in the country on the 8th of July, only 11 airports have been opened to flights out of the 22 airports owned and operated by the Federal Government.

Investigation by our aviation correspondent revealed that as at 19th of this month, Abuja, Lagos, Uyo, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports have resumed activities.

Others are Owerri, Kaduna, Calabar, Maiduguri, Sokoto and Yola airports.

These airports that have been opened are certified to have complied with the provision of post COVID-19 restart guidelines and health protocols in addition to being authorized by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

Speaking during the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 briefing last week, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said the ministry had been under a lot of pressure and received questions regarding the opening of some airports.

He explained that airports are opened based on their compliance to the Covid-19 Protocols.

According to him, they are at liberty to open and close airports depending on some many other operational reasons, adding that at any point in time whether there is Covid or not, airports can be closed if some issues were discovered and opened if certain gaps have been addressed.

“This is because once we said they are open, we now went back into those airports to ensure everything is okay and safe to operate, health-wise and operation-wise and some airports are so far apart and security reasons and difficulty in travel. We are lucky that we have an aircraft at our disposal which is meant to be for calibrating our equipment, we use that aircraft to enter into all of these airports to ensure they are safe.”

The Minister said inspections were still ongoing at other airports yet to be reopened, adding that if they meet the requirements of the restart guidelines and health protocols, they would be opened to flights.

Nosa Aituamen


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