Ebola outbreak: NCAA urges airlines to be vigilant



 …itemises roles for pilots, ATCs, others

By Sade Williams


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called for a high level of vigilance by the Airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country.


This was contained in a circular with ref no. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated 11th May, 2018, dispatched to all operating airlines.


In the circular, all airlines were informed of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 8th May, 2018.


However, the outbreak of EVD in DRC is yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC).


Notwithstanding, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have been taken concerted steps to ensure the virus does not creep into Nigeria.


Therefore to forestall the EVD infiltration, the Regulatory Authority has therefore directed all airlines to carry out these measures in the interim.


“Pilots-in-Command of an aircraft are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight in line with Nig.CARs


“In case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs and respectively.


“Completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination Aerodrome.


“Airlines are to ensure they have onboard valid and appropriate number of First aid kits, Universal Precaution kits and Emergency Medical kits in line with Nig. CARs


“Airlines are to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in the handling and communicating with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.


A statement signed by Mr. Sam Adurogboye, spokesman for the Authority added that ‘the Airlines are to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.


“Airlines are to report to the Authority in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight”.


The circular signed by the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, has since been sent to all the airlines.


The NCAA said it will continue to collaborate with all relevant agencies to ensure that the Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan (PHECP) developed for the guidance of aviation stakeholders are adhered to. This will prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through our air borders (Airports).



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