Ahead of the June 21 date for the resumption of domestic flights in the country, the Federal Government has said only five airports will be operational while others are to remain closed for further assessment.
This was contained in a circular to airlines signed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu.
In the circular dated June 1, the regulator stressed that the country’s airspace was still closed to international flights while domestic flights could start from June 21, as announced on Monday by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Nuhu said, “The closure of Nigerian airports to domestic flights has been extended to 2300hrs on 20th June 2020.
“The gradual start of domestic flight operations will commence on 21st June 2020 with Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Omagwa International Airport Port Harcourt, and Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri.
“Other airports will be gradually added to the network after a review and assessment.”
The country’s airports and airspace were shut in March by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as part of efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flight operations, both local and international, had stopped forthwith but the President’s directive allowed the operation of essential flights, including those for medical and evacuation purposes.
However, during its briefing in Abuja on June 1, the PTF asked the aviation sector to begin to develop protocols that would lead to the resumption of domestic flights any time from June 21.
PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said, “The aviation industry is requested to start developing protocols to allow for domestic flights to resume anytime from the 21st of June onwards.