Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), says the June 21 date for resumption of domestic flights is not feasible.
Answering questions on Thursday during the daily briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Nuhu said the agency will not approve the resumption of flight operations until it gets confirmation that operations can be carried out in a safe and organised manner.
“We never said aviation is going to start definitely on the 21st, we were supposed to put a report back based on what we have and we have some work to do. As such, June 21 is not a feasible date to resume operations,” he said.
The DG explained that there is a ton of work to be done before operations can resume in the aviation sector.
“Prior to this mandate from the presidential task force, the regulatory body, NCAA had developed advisory circulars distributed to the different sectors of the industry,” he explained.
“These circulars required all sectors of industry to present a restart plan to the regulatory body for approval.
“A lot of service providers have provided their restart plans and these restart plans are to be reviewed by the civil aviation authority.
“When we review those documents, if we are happy with those documents then we will go to each individual organisation to verify what they have given as their restart plan.
“Some provided inadequate documents and their documents were sent back to them.
“Significant progress has been made but there is still a lot of work to be done. The aviation system is a very complex system and this system has been compounded with the public health care concept which a lot of them, the aviation system is not used to implementing.”
Nuhu said the agency and all stakeholders in the sector had a statutory duty to make sure that operations are safe and secure.
He said the agency will not be pressured to approve resumption adding that resumption without the appropriate checks would be disastrous.
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