Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika says that airports in Nigeria can be reopened to 90%.
He said this today, Saturday, June 27, 2020, after he and other government officials participated in the dry runs that took place in the domestic terminals of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, respectively.
The exercise, which aimed to assess the readiness of the airports for reopening after Covid-19, was attended by the Honorable Ministers of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, State of Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, Minister of State of Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Federal Airport Authority, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, and several other stakeholders.
The simulation exercise began in Abuja when passengers on a Boeing 737 Aerocontractors flight were guided through the post-Covid 19 departure protocols on their way to Lagos.
The Abuja team arrived at the General Aviation Terminal in Lagos at about 1200 hours.
Passengers on board the flight were carried in accordance with the normal sequence of arrival facilities.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, expressed his delight at the level of facilities on the ground.
He added that after the measures taken, the airports were about 90% ready for reopening.
According to Senator Sirika, domestic passengers must now be at the airports about three hours before departure, while international passengers must be at the airports about five hours before their flight.
This is to ensure that all protocols, including security markings, social distancing, hand disinfection, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal belongings, etc., are followed immediately.
For their part, other ministers on the ground and the national coordinator of the PTF also commented on their impression of the airports’ willingness to reopen.
They also expressed satisfaction with the measures taken on the ground and expressed optimism that the airports are ready for reopening.
The Abuja team also reviewed the departure protocols, signalling the end of the exercise.