NIGERIAN aviation officials have threatened to stop all domestic flights in the country in the response to the flagrant refusal of airlines and passengers to observe the Covid-19 protocols put in place to contain the spread of the virus.
Like most countries, Nigeria banned all flights in March when the virus hit, shutting airports and suspending flights but lifted the restrictions on July 11. As was the case everywhere else, flights were only allowed to resume on the condition that both operators and passengers alike adhered to health guidelines such as using facemasks, observing social distancing and regularly used hand sanitizers.
However, many operators and passengers have ignored these guidelines and are flying around as if coronavirus does not exist. In response, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to stop all domestic flights in the country.
In a letter addressed to local airlines the NCAA said it has observed that some of them are breaching the protocols put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19. It therefore warned defaulters to desist or face severe penalties including the cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations.
NCAA officials made it clear that the resumption of domestic operations was based on compliance with protocols put in place by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The NCAA letter read: “Approvals for resumption of domestic operations are predicated on compliance with the above protocol.
“This is a warning to all domestic operators who are not in compliance to desist from such acts immediately. The continued non-compliance with the Covid-19 protocol will attract severe penalties up to and including cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations, so please be guided accordingly.”