Home Uncategorized Updates: Nigeria Upholds Flight Ban on Niger Despite Exemptions, Cites ECOWAS Sanctions

Updates: Nigeria Upholds Flight Ban on Niger Despite Exemptions, Cites ECOWAS Sanctions

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Engr. Ahmed Umar Farouk, Managing Director, NAMA

Managing Director/CEO, NAMA, Engr. Ahmed Farouk

Following the coup d’état in the Republic of Niger on July 26, 2023, Nigeria is maintaining its stand on suspension of all commercial flights between Niger and Nigeria, as well as flights overflying Nigeria to Niger. 

However, certain exemptions were outlined, including over-flight aircraft passing through Niger airspace, aircraft in a state of emergency, and special flights. 

Nigeria’s agency in charge of Airspace that is, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA, notes that special flights will require authorization from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

Giving an update and clarification on the suspension, NAMA’s Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Abdullahi Musa in a statement explains that, in response to the recent political events in Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convened an extraordinary summit to address the situation. Among the resolutions adopted during the summit, ECOWAS announced the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger, along with the establishment of a no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger.

In retaliation to these measures, the Niger government suspended flights into Nigeria and overflying planes.

This he notes prompted, the the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development to issue a directive to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on August 2, 2023. 

“This directive instructed NAMA to issue a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) effective from August 3, 2023, enforcing the no-fly zone on all commercial flights between Niger and Nigeria”.

 He adds, that, “As of 0600 UTC on August 3, 2023, aircraft departing from or arriving at aerodromes within the Niamey Flight Information Region (FIR-Nigerien Airspace) were prohibited from entering Kano FIR until further notice”.

According to the statement, the suspension of flights can only be lifted by the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aero Space Development as approved by the Presidency and ECOWAS.

NAMA assures, it remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of airspace users, in compliance with international regulations and directives.

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