The closure of airports in Nigeria has been extended by two weeks by the government as announced by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in Abuja.
The airports were shut down by the government on March 23rd, 20202 as part of efforts to control the spread of coronavirus in the country. The airports were initially billed to be reopened by April 23, 2020.
The minister explained the new projected date of opening of airport operations is consequent upon the two- week extension of the lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, “As a result of the extension on lockdown by Mr. President, it is no longer possible for us to open our airspace and airports for normal operations by the 23rd April, 2020”.
The Minister also explained that the new projected date of reopening is subject to review and appealed to air travellers and all stakeholders in the aviation industry to see the current situation as sacrifices necessary to safeguard the health and well being of the people with the hope the pandemic will be short-lived.
Corroborating the minister, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had written to airline operators and other stakeholders on the extension of the reopening of the airports for operations
According to NCAA, ‘’Our letter Ref. NO :NCAA /DG/AIR/11/16/106 dated 21st March 2020 with respect to restriction of international flights into Nigeria, refers.
‘’We wish to inform you that closure of the five International airports namely, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM), Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,Abuja (DNAA), Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano ( DNKN), Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Port Harcourt (DNPO) and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu (DNEN) has been extended for further two weeks, effective 23rd April 2020 at 2300Z to 7th May 2020 at 2300Z.
‘’Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all International flights except for emergency and essential flights.’’