As Nigerians look forward to the resumption of activities in the aviation sector, the Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, has said that only five airports will be allowed to open for operations on June 21, 2020.
Nuhu’s words are coming a few days after the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 announced the easing of restrictions, restart of the second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown as well as the commencement of flights operations on June 21.
Nuhu, in a letter to managers of all domestic and foreign airlines in the country dated June 1, 2020, with ref NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/121, listed the five airports to include the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja; the Omagwa International airport, Port-Harcourt; Mallam Aminu Kano international airport, Kano; and the Sam Mbakwe Cargo international airport, Owerri.
The NCAA DG, according to the letter, said that other airports will be added gradually after a review and assessment.
He stated that all flights to any of the airports outside the five approved to open shall comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols for approvals.
The NCAA boss in the letter emphasized that the closure of Nigerian airports to international flights will continue until the date of resumption is announced.
The letter also states that emergency and essential flights are exempted from the restriction and shall comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols for approvals.
The Federal Government placed a ban on local and international flights following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ravaging effect on the country.
Following calls by a section of Nigerians for economic activities to resume due to the hardship they are faced with, the Federal Government moved to gradually ease the lockdown but moved the resumption of aviation activities by a few weeks.
In the meantime, players in the sector have lamented the negative impact of the pandemic on their business which has seen them accrue loses since the ban on flights.