Nigeria reels out post-Covid-19 operating procedures, as domestic flights resume

Posted: July 9, 2020 in general

air peaceFederal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has released new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Domestic flights resumed July 8 in Nigeria after an initial postponement of the June 28 resumption of domestic operations.

The safety protocol is expected to take effect from July 8 at the five airports designated to handle domestic flights for the first two weeks of reopening since four months of inactivity of commercial aviation in the country.

FAAN in a statement by General Manager Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, titled; ‘the new procedural guidelines for air travelers and other airport users,’ said that in the “New Normal”, departing passengers must comply with guidelines, which include, among others, that passengers must arrive the airport properly kitted with their face masks on.

“Passengers must also ensure a minimum of one point five meters (1.5m) physical distancing, Aviation Medical/Port Health personnel would screen each passenger and ensure the use of face masks, those travelling with pets must get necessary clearance from Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services.

“All passengers’ luggage would be disinfected before entry into the departure halls, and they( passengers) are also required to wash their hands as often as possible, hand sanitizers would be provided for passengers before entrance, at the waiting halls/lounges and pre boarding gates, all footwear would be disinfected/sanitized by foot mats placed at all entrances to the terminal building, amongst others.

“For arriving passengers, the following guidelines must be adhered to; on disembarkation from the aircraft, passengers would observe physical distancing as they board the co-buses (hand sanitizers would be provided in the buses),​ physical distancing protocols must be observed at the baggage claim area, where hand sanitizer is also provided, disinfected trolleys would be made available for passengers.

“All Covid-19 protocols must be observed while undergoing customs check, passengers would exit the halls and head straight to the car park for pick up, If you must speak to anyone around, please speak to a properly tagged Aviation Security (AVSEC) officer, physical distancing would be maintained while waiting to be screened by personnel of port health services, amongst others.

“In addition to the above guidelines, passengers are required to observe social distancing and make use of the floor markings at the security screening area. They must also comply with all other security guidelines as laid down by officials of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) department.

“We urge all our passengers and other stakeholders to respect and observe these necessary protocols, put in place for our protection.

“Our success in achieving healthy and safe air travels is highly dependent on your cooperation in this regard,” the statement read.

It woukd be recalled that, on Wednesday, the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had via his Twitter handle announced the official commencement of commercial aviation activities for July 8, while declining to provide information on resumption of international flights.

“Domestic flight operations are resuming in Nigeria, as follows:

Abuja & Lagos Airports will reopen on July 8, 2020

Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri & Maiduguri: July 11, 2020

“Other Airports: July 15, 2020

“Please note this applies only to Domestic flights,” the tweet read.

The July 8 reopening comes three weeks after the initial date June 21 was faulted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The Lagos and Abuja airports had, penultimate Saturday, underwent a test run ahead the July 8 official resumption if flights to ascertain their levels of capacity on passenger handling in Covid-19 operating environment.

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