Aviation: Domestic Flights To Resume Operations On June 21, 2020 – FG


BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Federal Government has said that domestic flights which were suspended since March as one of the measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, are to resume operations at the nation’s airports beginning Sunday June 21, 2020.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who announced this at Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the resumption of flights will be purely premised on the implementation of the approved protocols for safe operations of the airlines. 

Sirika said that the three weeks period between now and the resumption date is to enable the operators adhere to all the necessary industry regulations, without which they cannot take to the skies after being dormant for some time.

According to him; “This is because Aviation, unlike other sectors, is a highly regulated one.”

Commenting on the modalities for the operation of flights when they resume, Sirika said consultations have been on, and will continue between the Ministry and industry stakeholders on the best ways to operate profitably while at the same time ensuring the safety of travellers.

The Aviation Minister cautioned owners of private aircraft who have been in the habit of asking for permits to fly within the country despite the restrictions in place to desist, stressing that restrictions are still in place, except for those on essential services which have been clearly defined. 

According to him; “Approval for flights on essential services are not paid for. It takes little or no time to grant such approvals.” 

He warned against people allowing themselves to be scammed by people outside the approving authorities, adding that the sector under his watch has zero tolerance for corrupt practices since his assumption of office as Minister. 

A statement by the Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Avition, Mr James Odaudu, said the Minister expressed gratitude for the cooperation of stakeholders in the aviation sector in spite of their unquantifiable losses occasioned by the lockdown since March but assured that all things humanly possible would be done to ensure a speedy recovery of the sector. 

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