The Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said international flights may resume before October in Nigeria, as passengers and businesses look to connecting back to their destinations.
“International Flight resumption date is not October as the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency just issued a routine 90 day Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). In liaison with Health, Foreign Affairs & PTF COVID-19, we will announce the agreed date, regardless of the ban by Europe, UAE etc. May be earlier than October,” Sen. Sirika tweeted.
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had earlier debunked rumours that Nigerian International Airports may not reopen until middle of October 2020.
Mr. Khalid Emele, NAMA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, said: “The closure of Nigerian Airports to all international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights, and scheduled cargo operations with approved summer schedules, will continue until date of resumption is approved.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the agency on the 15th July 2020, in line with international standards, issued a 3-month duration Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from 15th July to 15th October 2020, stating that the Federal Government of Nigeria has extended the closure of the nation’s airports to all international flights with the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency,” Mr. Emele added.
“However, approval may be requested and granted to over flights, operations related to humanitarian aids, medical relief flights, alternate aerodrome in the flight plan and also those being used for extended diversion time operations, Technical landings where passengers do not disembark, Cargo flights and other safety-related operations,” Mr. Emele noted.
“We wish to clarify that the import of the said NOTAM and AIC is NOT that Nigerian airports remain closed till 15th October 2020. Therefore, we crave the indulgence of our customers, airspace users and the general public to disregard the misconception being circulated as Nigerian airports will reopen to international flights at any date the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Aviation and NCAA consider it safe, secure, and appropriate,” Mr. Emele concluded.