The Federal Government went back on the statement it made some weeks ago that international flights would resume in months, to now say they would in weeks .
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said that when flights eventually resume, passengers must be at the airport three hours before their scheduled flights.
“We have modified the protocol for passenger arrivals at the airports. Domestic passengers arriving at the airports are advised to arrive one hour before their flights and three hours before international flights – when this restarts.”
He added that the prolonged closure of airports was for the safety of Nigerians, and not intended to punish Nigerians.
He said, “On the question about the reopening of the airports, I will like to use this medium to reiterate and to be consistent with what we’ve been saying. I want people to understand that this is not purely an aviation function.”
“It also has to do with our health and is so huge that it made Mr President in his wisdom to set up the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. This is in the interest of the nation.”
He said, “So we really want to open. But we can’t open alone, for within the space where we operate we’ve got all kinds of people there in the airports.”
“We’ve got immigration, police, Customs, civil defense, port health, etc, and so the PTF has set up a technical committee to come up with a date when everybody will be happy to start.”
The minister added, “So we will open as soon as all of us are happy to open. And I want to adopt what the coordinator has said; it will be in weeks rather than in months.”
Sirika also said that due to the shutdown of airports, alot of revenue and jobs have been lost.