Musa Nuhu, Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports may reopen soon.
He said the agency has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Aviation and are awaiting approval to commence the reopening of the airports.
He said this at a virtual event organised by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) titled COVID-19: The Challenges and Opportunity for Nigeria’s Aviation Value Chain, During and Post.
Nuhu said the reopening would however not be rushed, adding that other airports across the country would be reopened in due course.
“We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we hope to expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up,” he said.
“Every money is important and we cannot achieve the two-meter physical distance. We are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve those issues and allow the airlines to commence operations.
“We have made our suggestion and recommendations and we are awaiting feedback from the Ministry of Aviation.”
The NCAA also released COVID-19 protocols as approved by the Federal Ministry of Health for the aviation industry. The protocols are for Nigeria-based crew operating international flights.
Nuhu, who announced the approval of the new protocols in a letter to airline operators, airports and other service providers, added that the crew members would not be quarantined but would undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at the expense of their employers.
The Federal Government on March 16 placed a travel ban on 13 countries, including China, United States and Italy that had recorded over 1,000 cases of Coronavirus.
On March 13 it shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks. On May 6, the government further extended the airports’ closure by four weeks until June 7.