The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Saturday said airports in Nigeria are 90% ready for reopening.
He said this after he and other government officials partook in the dry run simulation exercises held at the domestic terminals of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos respectively.
The exercise, which was aimed at assessing the readiness of the airports for reopening post Covid-19 was witnessed by the Honourable Ministers of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, amongst several other stakeholders.
The simulation exercise began in Abuja as passengers were taken through the Post COVID-19 departure protocols enroute Lagos on a Boeing 737 Aerocontractors flight. The team from Abuja arrived at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos at about 1200hours. Passengers onboard the flight were facilitated in line with the normal procedural order of arrival facilitation.
In his remarks, Sirika expressed his delight at the level of facilities on ground. He added that going by the measures that have been put in place, the airports are about 90% ready to reopen.
According to Senator Sirika, domestic passengers will now have to get to the airports like three hours before departure, while international passengers would be expected to get to the airports about five hours before their flight. This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitizing, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items, etc. are complied with forthwith.
Other Ministers on ground and the National Coordinator of PTF also took their turn to comment on their impression of the preparedness of the airports for reopening. They also expressed satisfaction at the measures on ground and optimism that the airports are ready for reopening.