Nigeria: FG Conducts Test Flight, Says Airport 90% Ready for Reopening

Emmanuel Adigwe

As the country prepares for lifting of travel bans, Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, says Nigeria airports are 90 percent ready to commence operations.
He stated this at a press briefing following the inspection of both the level of preparedness and the physical changes of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
He said: “The flight simulation is to achieve some basic things: firstly it is to maintain physical distance with each other. Secondly, it is to wear protective materials such as face masks and face shields. Thirdly, It is to maintain hygiene. Fourthly, it is to clean the area and surfaces and that is a function of the robot itself apart from identifying the passengers.
“All of the things that have happened here are to ensure we don’t spread COVID-19.
“The experience is quite nice but it takes a bit of time which is why you will need to be at the airport three hours before your departure time for local flights. For international flights, we may do five hours.”
Speaking on the protocol inside the flight, he said: “There will also be social distancing in the aircraft. But new ideas are coming on board on how to remain seated to make the carbin economically okay and to ensure we don’t infect each other. Those new norms are coming and we will implement them in such a way that flights are profitable. WHO and ICAO have developed protocols of the sitting.”
The minister further revealed that the remaining 10 percent is on the surface cleaning and bags provision which will be perfected as soon as flight resumes.

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