Nigerian authorities are considering the reopening of three international airports in the country, said the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The affected aviation facilities are the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano State, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State, and the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State.
In his remarks on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the minister noted that the Federal Government planned to resume international flight operations at the airports.
According to Sirika, members of the task force will be visiting the airports for simulation exercises to ascertain their readiness for international operations.
He stated that a technical working group comprising relevant agencies involved in the facilitation of passengers had been set up to ensure that all standards required for seamless operations at the airports earmarked for the resumption of international flights were in place.
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The minister also announced the immediate resumption of catering services on domestic flights which were suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the decision was taken into consideration of the businesses involved in the provision of in-flight refreshments which have been adversely affected by the suspension.
Sirika, however, said that modalities and protocols for the resumption of the services would be worked and rolled out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which would be in line with international practices.
On the suspension of Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria, he noted that discussions were ongoing to resolve the issues involved.
The minister also restated the country’s position on the impropriety of the extra COVID-19 tests the airline was demanding of Nigerian travellers.
He insisted that operations of the Emirates Airlines in and out of the country remained suspended, with the exemption of Cargo and Humanitarian flights.