The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has described as untrue, insinuations in some quarters that Nigerian airports would reopen for international flights in October.
Khalid Emele, General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said: “Following the receipt of an All Operators Letter (NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/152) from NCAA, the agency issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) titled “Phased Resumption of Domestic Flights” on July 7, 2020 to the effect that Lagos and Abuja airports will open for domestic flight operations on July 8.
“Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Maiduguri and Uyo open on July 11 and all other airports on July 15, 2020.
“Furthermore, paragraph 9 of the AIC states that the closure of Nigerian airports to all international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights, and scheduled cargo operations with approved summer schedules, will continue until a date of resumption is approved.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the agency on July 15, 2020, in line with international standards, issued a three-month duration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) (from July 15 to Oct. 15, 2020).”
He said the notice stated that the Federal Government had extended the closure of the nation’s airports to all international flights with the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency.
According to him, the notice, however, stated that approval may be requested and granted to overflights, operations related to humanitarian aids and medical relief flights.
Others are alternate aerodrome in the flight plan and also those being used for extended diversion time operation, technical landings where passengers do not disembark and cargo flights as well as other safety-related operations.
“From the foregoing, there was no indication that the closure of Nigerian airports to international flights was from July 15 to Oct. 15, 2020.
“However, the NOTAM was issued for a minimum duration of three months in view of the fact that a specific date for resumption of international flights has not been confirmed by neither the Minister of Aviation nor the Director-General of NCAA.
“Finally, while the agency looks forward anxiously toward the reopening of Nigerian airports to international flights, we wish to clarify that the import of the said NOTAM and AIC is NOT that Nigerian airports remain closed till Oct. 15 2020,” Emele said. He, therefore, craved the indulgence of customers, airspace users and the general public to disregard the misconception being circulated.
According to him, Nigerian airports will reopen to international flights at any date the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Aviation and NCAA consider safe, secure and appropriate.