Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation

Government set to announce resumption of flight operations

*We’ve made significant progress in readiness to resume activities, says Aviation Minister

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following months of flight restrictions and cancellations prompted by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria, the Federal Government has said it will announce a date for the commencement of domestic air travels next week.

ConsumerConnect reports Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, stated this at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Thursday, June 25.

The Minister, represented Captain Musa Nuhu, Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), disclosed that “since the last announcement that Sunday, 21st of June is no longer feasible for the opening of the airports, we would like to report that we have had significant progress in the readiness of the industry to restart.”

A dry run test would be conducted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, FCT, as part of the preparation to commence flights, Sirika said.

While acknowledging that “the gaps have been closed”, Sirika, however, explained that “we still have a few gaps within the aviation ecosystem, and this will be closed hopefully in the next couple of days.

“I have said it and I will keep saying it, we must get it right the first time both on the issues of technical safety and health safety of all stakeholders.

He further explained that “one of the things we are going to use to close some of the gaps is a dry run test of both Lagos and Abuja airports coming up on Saturday.

“After the dry runs, we will observe the gaps that might still be there and close them. After that, we will announce the date of the restart next week.

Ahead of domestic travel restart, Air Peace and Dana Air were said to have embarked on out of storage test flights for its 25 aircraft.

The exercise which the airlines described as “Shakedown Flights”, according to its Stanley Olisa, Spokesman, was aimed at ensuring the aircraft are in tiptop condition, having been grounded for a few months under very strict storage maintenance.

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