COVID-19: MMA2 leads as most prepared terminal to resume operations

…NCAA faults PH, Owerri airports

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) has rated Murtala Mohammed Airport, (MMA2) Ikeja, Lagos, managed by Bicourtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, as most prepared terminal to resume operations as five others tag along.

This is coming at a time when operators are making progress to fulfilling stipulated conditions on which premise the regulator would be satisfied to issue a date to the Presidential Task Force, PTF on Covid-19 for the resumption of air travel once again.

Musa Nuhu, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) gave the commendation when presenting the performance scorecard of all the organisations involved in the preparation to restart air travels.

By the scorecard presented on behalf of the NCAA, DG, Godwin Balang, the General Manager, Airline Operators’ Certificate and Surveillance, revealed that, of all the six terminals designated for the domestic flight initial take-off, the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA2, Ikeja, Lagos, managed by Bicourtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, led the pack and other five terminals trail behind.

The scorecard indicated that other airports such as Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja, had all made appreciable improvement.

While the International Airport Owerri and the Portharcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, still trudging behind with less than 50 percent scores respectively.

While the DG was speaking after the total report was presented, he said that Owerri Airport and Port Harcourt Airports had been a source of worry since the program for the reopening started.

He however added euphemistically that “we are that close but we are still far”

The scorecard itemised what exactly were the issues that warranted such an abysmally low score- 40%- of the airports which were procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, provision of hand sanitizers, body temperature measuring device and disinfection of the facilities, among other things,

Responding, Amisu Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), contested the score credited to the two airports saying it contradicted information from his managers at the two airports.

He said he was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that training, which was reflected among open items on the regulator’s scorecard, had already been closed.

He enthused that 100percent of the workforce for flight operations at the Owerri and Port Harcourt Airports had undergone training.

He however added there were constraints occasioned by the lockdown which made procurement of critical materials very difficult as offices and major sales outlets were yet to resume full operations. These the MD said had slowed down the pace at which his team would have loved to run and close those gaps.

On the ground handlers, the scorecard revealed there were open items that bothered more on the Covid-19 safety protocols and other few directives as issued by the NCAA in its letters to the ground handlers.

They were reminded to adhere strictly to the manufacturer recommendations as found in the Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM, of the aircraft for efficient and effective cleaning purposes.

The ground handlers scored 75 percent and the few gaps remaining were those that bordered on the Covid-19, safety protocols.

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