The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, on Thursday hinted of plans to reopen some airports in the country for resumption of flight operations.
Speaking during a webinar organised by an aviation think-tank group, Aviation Roundtable and Safety Initiative with the theme, “COVID-19: The Challenges and Opportunity for Nigeria’s Aviation Value Chain, During and Post”, Nuhu said, “We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up.
“If you do that, extra expenses and airlines need money, every money is important and we cannot achieve the two metres physical distance but we are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve that.”
He said stakeholders comprising airlines, ground handlers and service providers had put forward relevant recommendations for the safe resumption of flights to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for approval.
Also speaking during the webinar, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, solicited government intervention to save jobs in the aviation industry.
He said the government must consider a review of the 37 charges paid by the operators even as he said suggestions in some quarters for middle seats to be omitted inside the aircraft may not work.
“I do not want free money that I cannot account for. This is not an opportunity to ask for money to buy a new plane. In fact, this intervention should be for the work force.
“I have over 3,000 staff at Air Peace. These people’s livelihoods are endangered and you must do everything possible to keep jobs in the country. We should be asking the government for specific things that would help retain jobs, job retention should be first and foremost,” Onyema said.
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