…as NCAA submits report to PTF
The resumption of flights in the country fixed for next Monday may no longer be feasible going by the level of preparations by aviation authorities.
This is coming against the backdrop of Federal Government’s declaration that it was not in a hurry to reopen the nation’s airspace.
The Federal Government had earlier fixed Monday, June 21 for the resumption of flights in the country’s airports, but later said that the date was not sacrosanct.
The Monday, June 21st date earlier fixed for the resumption of flights may not be feasible going by the level of preparation by aviation authorities.
This is just as the federal government has declared that the date was not sacrosanct, as it was not in a hurry to reopen the airspace.
On Wednesday, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed during a webinar on Aviation Industry Restart Plan hosted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, that the government was not in a hurry to reopen the country’s airports now.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had recently hinted that the aviation industry could reopen by June 21 after three months of shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aviation Industry Restart Committee led by the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, has been interfacing with relevant stakeholders in the industry, especially the airlines, towards a safe reopening of the nation’s airspace.
NCAA Director of Airworthiness, Ita Awak, disclosed that about six airlines out of 14 had disinfected their aircraft and ready to resume operations.
However, the decision on whether the industry would reopen on Monday would be made on Friday when the NCAA DG would make a presentation to the PTF.
Speaking at the webinar, which was also attended by the National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, the aviation minister said while a lot of progress had been made to restart the industry, he doubted if the existing gaps could be filled in four days.
Sirika said the level of preparations on the ground for reopening the airspace next Mondaywere inadequate and would make the process very difficult,
He said that the for the permanent reopening of the airports, every necessary safety and security measures must be in place. The NCAA DG said the decision on whether to reopen would be made known to the PTF on Friday, adding, “As the Chairman of the Restart Committee, I will say we have a long way to go. I am submitting a preliminary report on Friday and it is going to give you the true colour of the situation. If we are not ready, of course, we are not ready. Because what we don’t want to do is to rush into it.”