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FG says Amino Kano, Maiduguri Airports ready for use

The Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika on Saturday said the Amino Kano International Airport is safe and ready for operation.

The minister who made this known during a simulation exercise at the Amino Kano airport on Saturday, also confirmed that the Maiduguri airport is ready for operations:

“The purpose of why we are here today is to see that this airport is opened in accordance to the protocols established by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and to assess whether this airport is safe to operate.”

“I am very happy! what I saw is good enough for us to start. I am very glad that the Civil Aviation Authority with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria have done exceedingly well under our watch, to ensure that everything is put in place to ensure physical distancing, good hygiene has been established and being followed. we believe that this airport is one of those that are safe to operate into and out during this Covid-19 period.”

“Maiduguri airports is ready. We will resume our operations normally and all the airports in Nigeria will be ready by the 15th and those that are not ready will be given enough time in order not to risk Peoples lives.”

The minister responding to concern on the seating arrangement in aircraft explained that the non observance of 2meters spacing does not pose risk of Civid-19 infection during Flight:

“sitting in an airplane, because of the nature of the airplane, the airplane is hygienic enough once you have your mask, you are safe to remain sited on your seat and where possible, we will keep the distance”

“However, let me explain the mechanics and the going onset in an airplane that makes it safe in COVID-19 period. Airplanes are designed in such a way that the ambient air at altitudes is clean. It is not contaminated. The air is dropped in the aircrafts, pressurised and because of pressurization, the temperature of the air goes up to 200 degrees which is twice boiling water and there is bacteria or virus that can survive it and is it suddenly cooled to about 2 degrees centigrade and then it is passed to a filter. A high efficiency filter and passing through the filtration system ensures that every single organism is screened and then it is passed to the cabin and once it is passed through the cabin, it comes from the ceiling downwards. So, it is not coming from the cockpit to the rear, it is from the ceiling downwards and it drops on the floor and gets circulated. This circulation happens every two minutes. So, on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, the circulation will happen like 27 to 30 times. With this, it is ensured that it is more hygienic to be in an airplane than to be in an operating theatre in the hospital.”

“With this mechanism in place, everything will be safe provided that we are decontaminating the airplane before we enter and decontaminating after we leave and also clean all the possible surfaces that one will touch. If this continues, then everyone is safe to remain in the cabin sited next to each other with the mask on. So with this, yes you can but in the departure and arrival halls and everywhere including the buses, you must remain physically distanced like at least six feet or two metres.”

The National Cordinator of PTF, Sani Aliyu who was also present at the assessment said though the airport is ready but there is need for operationalizing it to meet up with the safe guidelines:

“As far as we are concerned we have not seen anything that will stop us from proceeding so we are quite pleased with what we see now but we would make additional recommendation to the aviation authorities in terms of oprationalising this in particular to avoid having crowds and to make sure that the airlines depart promptly because if we make the airport congested, it would be difficult for the rules to be followed”

Meanwhile the chairman Senate committee on Aviation Smart Adeyemi also recommend Water supply and more campaign against the spread of Covid-19 within the airport :

“When you talk about this pandemic, the airport is key to eradicating and minimizing the infection. Today we have gone round to see the measures already on ground with the objective of minimizing the spread. I Just observed that unlike what I saw in Abuja, at the airport, I want to suggest that the minister look at the possibilities of extending supply of water to the departure point of this airport. I also believe that there still need to be information on the board to direct passengers who will be coming in! especially those who will be coming in newly. when we compare to that of Abuja we discovered that the departure needs few things to be put in place.”

” A lot of campaign still needs to be done within and outside the airport against the spread of Covid-19. with these exception I know they have done the best that is required of them.”

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