The minister of Aviation has said that international flights would restart in the country despite the ban placed on Nigeria by Europe and the United Arab Emirates.
On Tuesday, the Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that the airspace would no longer reopen for international flights on August 19 but ‘maybe’ in October. This seems to have bashed the hopes of those expectant.
The NOTAM read: “The Federal Government has extended the closure of our airports to all international flights with the exception of aircraft in a statement of emergency.”
The NOTAM said that approval may be requested and granted for “over-flights, operations related to humanitarian aids, medical relief flights, alternate aerodrome in the flight plan and also those being used for extended diversion time operation.”
In addition, approved for exemptions are “technical landings where passengers do not disembark and cargo flights and other safety-related operations.”
Such requests would be directed to the Minister of Aviation, the NOTAM said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sirika, on his verified Twitter account, said the government is yet to name the date for the reopening of international air flights “but this may come earlier than October.”
He added that the date for the resumption would be announced after consultation with necessary stakeholders including the ministries of health and foreign affairs and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
“International Flight resumption date is not October. NAMA just issued a routine 90-day Notices to Airmen. In liaison with Health, Foreign Affairs, and PTF COVID-19, we will announce the agreed date, regardless of the ban by Europe, UAE, etc. may be earlier than October,” he tweeted.