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International Flights Resumption: Stakeholders Laud FG

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Some stakeholders in the aviation industry have commended the Federal Government for the pronouncement to resume international flights and urged  Nigerians to comply with the Covid-19 preventive measures.
The stakeholders spoke on Tuesday in Lagos.
The federal government had on Aug. 17 approved Lagos and Abuja airports for resumption of international flights in the country.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who made the announcement, said the airports would be opened Aug. 29 and protocols and procedures would be announced before the approved date for resumption.
Dr Gbenga Olowo, the President, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), said the pronouncement was a welcome development.
According to Olowo, it is an indication that the aviation sector is gradually coming to life.
“That life is gradually returning to normal, we appeal to all not to discountenance COVID-19 spread preventive protocols before, during and post flights resumption”.
Retired Grp. Capt. John Ojukutu, the Secretary-General, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), noted that there were no sufficient skilled health workers to man the designated international airports.
He also noted that the decision would increase commercial activities for airlines on the domestic routes.
“Domestic airlines can distribute passengers and cargo for the international airlines to and from the remaining 20 airports”.
Ojikutu said government must, however, ensure that the international airlines were distributed evenly to the two airports.
He said this was to ensure that arriving or departing passengers infected with the virus from a particular airport could easily be tracked, traced and treated.
Also commenting, Mr Kabir Gusau, the President-General, Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), also said resumption of international flights operations was a welcome idea.
“I believe in Nigeria we are ready, especially starting with MMIA, Lagos, and NAIA, Abuja, as recommended by the minister of aviation”.
An Aviation expert, Mr Olumide Ohunayo lauded the Federal Government, saying the move to resume international flights would bring succour and courage to the industry.
Ohunayo said the pronouncement would end the “exploitative evacuation of Nigerians by international flights”.
“With the pronouncement on the resumption, all the rush on evacuation flights will stop. I learnt that the last evacuation is taking place on Aug. 20, l do not expect passengers to pay such exorbitant fare but be patient till Aug. 29, and board flights at reasonable prices”.
He, however, advised government to verify countries that would accept Nigerians before plying those countries.

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