The Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) has begun preparations for flight resumption in compliance with the Nigeria’s Federal Government’s directive. This was revealed on the agency’s twitter page.
The preparations entail varied measures to ease facilitation and help prevent passengers and other airport users from contracting COVID-19 as flight operations resume soon.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had recently revealed that domestic airlines would resume operations from June 21, 2020 on the premise of successful implementation of approved protocols for safe operations.
Furthermore, in the efforts to begin the reopening of some of the airports in the nation, FAAN said it held a skype meeting with Munich Airport International to share experiences and compare notes on the effects of the COVID19 lockdown on the airports.
The meeting which was at the instance of the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, had in attendance the Munich Airport Expert Team, Herbert Keffel, Georgios Elkolids and Julian Duerdoth and was coordinated by Mr. Fortune Idu, Managing Director of FCI International Ltd with Mrs. Nike Aboderin, the Director of Finance as the team lead on the Nigerian side of 30 FAAN participants.
The aim was to assess the readiness of FAAN to gradually begin operations, following the Federal Government’s directive for reopening of the four regional airports.
Capt. Yadudu commented that ‘while FAAN is responding to the guidelines set by NCAA for gradual airport reopening and POST COVID 19 operations, it is important also to compare notes with other airports in the world to make sure we are on the right track and join the global industry in building back travel confidence.
Munich airport has successfully reopened its airport and has recommenced domestic and international flights, so it is worth sharing their experience with them, according to the MD of FAAN. Furthermore, FAAN said it intends to begin involving itself in route development and therefore, collaborative efforts between Munich and FAAN can help in that direction.
The presentation via skype simulated from Germany and England was tagged Rapid Aviation Plan by Mr. Georgios Elkolids. Herbert Keffel highlighted the steps and considerations which Munich Airport International adopted towards the successful reopening of the airport.
Though there are guidelines issued by ICAO and ACI for the purpose of the reopening, the guidelines become more successful if they are adapted based on the peculiarities of the airport environment which Munich has successfully done.
Also, the Munich airport team not only compared notes on how they have carried out flow management and social distancing orders with the FAAN team but also showed a willingness to continue the backend co-operation and information sharing to help build traffic, passenger confidence and also improve operational efficiency, non-aeronautical services and route development.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had named five airports including the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri; Port Harcourt Airport; Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, and Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, where domestic flights will commence, as announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Air operators have engaged in preparations and test flights in readiness for the resumption of flights under due observance of safety and health protocols required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Air operations in Nigeria have been suspended since March as one of the measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. Passengers are also eager to travel around the country, which necessitates the strict observance of health and safety protocols as air transport reopens in Nigeria.