The Federal Government has announced that upon resumption of flight operations at the airports, international passengers are expected to get to the airport at least 5 hours before departure, while domestic passengers would be expected to get to the airports at least 3 hours before departure.
This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitizing, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items and so on are complied with going forward.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Saturday, June 27, 2020, during the dry test run simulation exercises which were carried out at the domestic terminals of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The simulation exercise was aimed at assessing the readiness of the airports for reopening after the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It started in Abuja on a Boeing 737 Aero contractor’s flight as the passengers were taken through the post COVID-19 departure protocols and ended at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos at about 1200 hours.
Apart from Sirika, the exercise was also witnessed by Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minster of State for Health, Dr, Olorunnibe Mamora, Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Dr. Aliyu Sanni, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman Air Peace, Allen Onyema and several other stakeholders.
The Aviation Minister said that the number of seats at the departure lounge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport had been reduced to 50 from 500 in line with the social distancing policy. He said all passengers must comply strictly with the directive on wearing of face masks before entering the airport terminals while the aviation authorities will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the airports.
Sirika, also expressed his delight at the level of facilities on ground, while adding that going by the measures put in place, the airports are about 90% ready for reopening.
Other Ministers and the National Coordinator of PTF that were present, took turns to comment on their impression on the level of preparedness of the airports for reopening. They expressed satisfaction at the measures taken so far and were optimistic that the airports were ready for reopening.