The Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has stated that Nigerian airports are 90% ready to reopen going by the measures that have been put in place.
The airports were shut down by the Federal Government of Nigeria in March as part of the measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The minister who expressed delight at the level of facilities on the ground stated this during dry run simulation exercises carried out by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at domestic terminals of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos respectively.
The exercise was aimed at assessing the readiness of the airports for reopening post-COVID-19.
According to Senator Sirika, ‘’domestic passengers will now have to get to the airports like three hours before departure, while international passengers would be expected to get to the airports about five hours before their flight. This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitizing, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items, etc. are complied with forthwith.’’
The simulation exercise began in Abuja as passengers were taken through the Post Covid-19 departure protocols en route Lagos on a Boeing 737 Aerocontractors flight. The team from Abuja arrived at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos at about 1200hours. Passengers on board the flight were facilitated in line with the normal procedural order of arrival facilitation.
The simulation was also witnessed with by the minister by Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, amongst several other stakeholders.