As the nation’s airspace and airports prepare to reopen to domestic flights beginning July 8, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has issued new guidelines for air travellers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a statement signed by the Authority’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, “the new Standard Operating Procedure is aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
FAAN stated that all passengers must arrive at the airport properly kitted with their face masks on and ensure a minimum of 1.5m physical distancing.
It added that aviation and Port Health Services personnel would screen each passenger and enforce compliance on the use of face masks and social distancing.
The statement partly read, “Those travelling with pets must get the necessary clearance from Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services.
“All passengers’ luggage would be disinfected before entry into the departure halls.
“Passengers are required to wash their hands as often as possible. Hand sanitisers would be provided for passengers before entrance at the waiting halls/lounges and pre-boarding gates.
“All footwear would be disinfected/sanitised by foot mats placed at all entrances to the terminal building, amongst others.
“Physical distancing protocols must be observed at the baggage claim area, where hand sanitiser is also provided. Disinfected trolleys would be made available for passengers.
“All Covid-19 protocols must be observed while undergoing customs check.
“Passengers would exit the halls and head straight to the car park for pick up, If you must speak to anyone around, please speak to a properly tagged Aviation Security officer.”
The Authority implored passengers to make use of floor markings at the security screening area and respect all outlined protocols put in place.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, has advised air travellers to “strictly abide” with the new protocols.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stated this during a briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
“Following the announcement of phase two and some new measures on Monday, the aviation sector has announced the 8th, 11th and 15th of July as dates for the gradual resumption of domestic flights.
“We thank Nigerians for their patience and understanding and we urge them to strictly abide with the new airport protocols.
“In the aviation industry, safety and security are paramount and there is only one global aviation standard,” he said.
The country’s airspace and airports had been shut to flight operations in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Essential flights such as those for evacuation and movement of medical supplies were, however, permitted.