Kelvin Osa Okunbor

Nigerian  Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday clarified the categories of international operations exempted from the flight ban rolled by government in the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Its Director-General , Capt Musa Nuhu, said aircraft in state of emergency, over flights, operations related to humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights, alternate aerodromes identified in the flight plan (including those being used for extended diversion time operations), technical stop where passengers do not disembark, cargo flights and other safety related operations fell within the category of essential flights which have been given exemption.

The NCAA chief said flights listed in the category were expected to request for approval to operate.

The regulator in a directive dated March 23,  urged affected operators to comply.

The NCAA in another letter with Ref: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/108 also directed airlines to deploy measures, including temperature check by all without any exception to protect the passengers and the general public against the spread of the COVID-19.

The directive read: “All personnel without exception entering any airport terminal must undergo temperature check and hand cleaning with sanitizer (all domestic and international terminals)…”

“All passengers without exception must undergo temperature check and hand cleaning with sanitizer at all terminals (domestic and international) before being allowed to board aircraft.

“All aircraft must be disinfected before each flight.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Aeronautical Information Services in response to this has issued a circular Series A 05/2020 23 Mar 2020 for information, guidance and necessary action.

In the circular signed by the Director of Operations, Pwajok Lawrence for the Managing Director/Chief Executive titled: Restrictions of international flight operations into Nigeria, said: “Approval may be given, upon request, for the purposes of the following operations:

“Over flights, operations related to humanitarian aids, medical and relief flights; alternate aerodrome identified in the flight plan (including those being used for Extended Diversion Time Operations (EDTOs]), technical landings where passengers do not disembark,  cargo flights and other safety and security related operations.

According to the circular, request for approval with respect to all the above flight operations, with the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency shall be addressed to the  Minister of Aviation , Hadi Sirika as well  Capt Nuhu.

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