It can be said that flights may resume in the country first week of July, 2020, if the satisfaction expressed by the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu is anything to go by.
Though the resumption is not yet announced, there are indications that it may be soon.
The PTF national coordinator after a demo flight by Aerocontractors Boeing 737 aircraft today from Lagos to Abuja which brought in members of the PTF back to Lagos and dry run of the local wing of the airport, certified the industry ready for restart.
Answering questions from newsmen after a tour of the General Aviation Terminal One, GAT, Dr. Aliyu said he and his members were satisfied with what they have seen, adding that the Industry had done spectacularly well to ensure a restart of flights and open up the country’s economy.
“Am pleased to say that Aviation has done spectacularly well, they have shown what they have at able to do and they are highly regulated sector.”
He said the industry was given 3 weeks to prepare and they have shown that they are truly a regulated industry.
Dr. Aliyu explained that because the industry is internationally regulated that was why the PTF decided to let the industry go first in preparing the country for what is going to be the new normal.
According to him, at the moment the industry is more than prepared.
“You know the PTF gave the Aviation industry 3 weeks to prepare and am pleased to say they are more than prepared at the moment.Aviation is a highly regulated sector and is one of the reasons we wanted Aviation to go first in terms of preparing the country for what is going to be the new normal.”
“And what is the new normal, just by looking at your at your feet you know that things have changed, just by looking at the way security and the people giving you tickets are behaving you know things have changed. And why have things? Things have changed because we have a decease that is killing people and we have a responsibility for our own health.”
He stressed that it is now dependant on all Nigerians to be disciplined in observing the health protocols to keep safe regardless of where they may be at the airports or in public spaces.
“And I look round and have to keep asking people to put their masks on, the purpose of your masks is not just to protect your mouth it’s also to cover your nose. Am pleading with Nigerians, when the Aviation sector has done tremendously well what will protect you is yourself and your behavior and you have to challenge other citizens putting you at risks.”
The PTF coordinator applauded the efforts of heads of aviation agencies and major stakeholders for all their support in achieving the feat of preparation ahead of the industry restart simulation exercise.
“We thank the Minister, the DG, FAAN MD and other major stakeholders for cooperating us to make sure that Nigerians will continue to be safe why they fly so that we can open up our economy very quickly.”
Dignitaries who accompanied the PTF Coordinator on the tour of the GAT 1, Lagos, are the Ministers of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Captain. Rabiu Yadudu, Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, MD Med view, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, Former President NANTA, Mr. Bankolr Bernard and other major stakeholders.