Flight information board at the Murtala Muhammed Airport /Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Nigeria announces reopening date for its airports

Nigeria has announced a reopening date for its airports as part of government’s relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown measures in the country.

According to a circular issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday, five airports will resume domestic operations on Saturday, 21 June.

The airports are Omagwa International Airport Port Harcourt, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano.

Other airports are expected to be gradually opened to domestic flights after review and assessment, the statement, signed by Captain Musa S. Nuhu, Director-General/CEO of the NCAA, said.

The NCAA, which is the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria, reiterated that “the closure of Nigerian airports to international flights will continue until a date of resumption is announced”.

“Emergency and essentials flights are exempted from this restriction and shall comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols for approvals,” the statement said.

According  to our earlier circular of the NCAA, dated 23 March 2020, on the restriction of international flights into Nigeria, the following are considered Essential Flights:

  1. Aircraft in State of emergency
  2. Over flights
  3. Operations related to humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights
  4. Alternate aerodromes identified in the flight plan (including those being used for extended diversion time operations
  5. Technical stop where passengers do not disembark
  6. Cargo flights
  7. Other safety related operations.

With the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency, request for approval for other flights is required.

Nigerian airports were shut down in March as part of the anti-coronavirus containment measures.

Kola Tella

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