DIRECTOR-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu told stakeholders that the aviation industry restart plan will be submitted to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 by Wednesday (24th June, 2020), all things being equal.
This is just as the NCAA gave the level readiness by components of the industry stating that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is 80% ready; Airlines (domestic) are 70% ready; NIMET is also ready and domestic airports at 57% readiness
The DG conveyed this to stakeholders at a forum held at the weekend where there was engagement on the way forward.
Capt. Nuhu said, “We are yet to get there but we are pretty close. The plan is that by Wednesday, we will submit our report to PTF. I reiterate, we are pretty close.”
Responding to stakeholders’ query, the DG also explained that the industry was eager for the restart the same way the airline’s were stating that in the over three month break, the Authority’s finances have flat lined.
Nuhu said: “Your lack of operations put NCAA in a difficult situation. Our revenue is down by 90 to 95 per cent. We are almost ready. Like I said earlier, not all the airlines and airports have to be necessarily ready before the restart. If anything goes wrong, NCAA will be held responsible. Sometime this week, the proposed restart date will be made known.
“If the airports get it right, the airlines job will be made easier. The airlines that have disinfected their aircraft should show proof to NCAA. On the middle seats, we need to listen to the health authority, even though I do not support the middle seat regime. We are liaising with the health authority to get the best for the airlines. It is our interest that airlines start flying yesterday.”
Also on the industry restart plan and guidelines and level of readiness, the Chairman of the NCAA Covid-19 Committee, Engr. Godwin Balang who enumerated the guidelines control measures employed by NCAA to work towards the restart of the industry said they are based on 10 key principles.
He said,“restart and recovery guidelines are based on 10 key principles which are to: protect people in harmonized but flexible measures; work as one aviation team and show solidarity; ensure essential connectivity; actively manage safety, security and health related risks; make aviation public health measures work with aviation safety and security systems; strengthen public confidence; distinguish restart from recovery; support financial relief strategies to help the aviation industry; ensure sustainability and learn lessons to improve resilience.”
Engr. Balang also gave the level readiness by components of the industry such as airlines, air navigation provider, ground handlers and meteorologists and other. According to him, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is 80% ready; Airlines (domestic) are 70% ready; NIMET is also ready and domestic airports at 57%.
However, the NCAA helmsman explained that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is carrying bulk of the pressure and a lot of drastic efforts are being made to get it right as Airports are the most critical parts of the value-chain.
Meanwhile in his submission, Managing Director, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu pleaded with the stakeholders and said the preparedness of the airports borders mostly on safety and security.
“Pease bear with us. It is primarily on safety and security issues. We need to improve on what we have. That is why we started training our personnel. On procurement, there are things you do not get on time. We will get drastic pace from (21st June, 2020) tomorrow. With the public enlightenment, we are working with NCAA.”