Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has offered explanation and clarifications on insinuations making the rounds that Nigerian Airports have been shut to international flights until the middle of October, 2020.
In a statement signed by Mr. Khalid Emile, NAMA spokesman, NAMA explained that following the receipt of an All Operators Letter (NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/152) from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the agency issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) titled “Phased Resumption of Domestic Flights” on 7th July 2020 to the effect that Lagos and Abuja airports will open for domestic flight operations on 8th July, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Maiduguri and Uyo opens on 11th July and all other airports on 15th July 2020.
It explained further that paragraph 9 of the AIC states that “The closure of Nigerian Airports to all international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights, and scheduled cargo operations with approved summer schedules, will continue until a date of resumption is approved, adding that for the avoidance of doubt, the agency on the 15th July 2020, in line with international standards, issued a 3-month duration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) from 15th July to 15th October 2020, stating that the Federal Government of Nigeria has extended the closure of the nation’s airports to all international flights with the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency, however approval may be requested and granted to:
2. Operations related to humanitarian aids
3. Medical relief flights
4. Alternate aerodrome in the flight plan and also those being used for extended diversion time operation
5. Technical landings where passengers do not disembark
6. Cargo flights and other safety-related operations.
“From the foregoing, there was no indication that the closure of Nigerian airports to international flights was from 15th July to 15th October 2020. However, the NOTAM was issued for a minimum duration of 3 months in view of the fact that a specific date for resumption of international flights has not been confirmed by the Honourable Minister of Aviation nor the Director General of NCAA.
“Finally, while the agency looks forward anxiously towards the reopening of Nigerian airports to international flights, we wish to clarify that the import of the said NOTAM and AIC is NOT that Nigerian airports remain closed till 15th October 2020.
“Therefore, we crave the indulgence of our customers, airspace users and the general public to disregard the misconception being circulated as Nigerian airports will reopen to international flights at any date the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Aviation and NCAA consider it safe, secure, and appropriate” , the statement said.