April 16, 2024

Nigeria Transport Hub

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Air travelers on the domestic routes have been advised to arrive the airport at the very least, an hour and half before the Expected Time of Departure, ETD, and not three hours as earlier touted at the preparation for the restart of air travels.

According to the information on the twitter handle of the Aviation Minister, Capt. Hadi Sirika, he stated that, “My colleagues & I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travelers are to arrive one hour and a half before their departure time for domestic flights”.

The statement from the Minister’s twitter handle further stated that, “Travelers are advised to check in online, please”

It can be recalled that various travel managers had offered various advice along this time line during the various virtual stakeholders’ forum in preparation for the restart of air travel.

President Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, Dr. Gabriel Gbenga Olowo, had objected to the three hours arrival at the airport ahead of departure time. He advocated the use of electronic transactions as the new normal in air transport was being prepared.

Moreover, the consensus among the enlightened observers during the heat to the restart was that airlines and airports should aggressively promote online transactions among all classes of travelers.

The media and the major stakeholders had all along been of the opinion that tickets should be sold online. Boarding pass should also be obtained online while checking-in should also be encouraged online.

Hence facilitation at the airport will be seamless and could be concluded in record time, despite the new COVID-19 safety protocols the airports and the airlines have been mandated to institute for all passengers to observe.

Just about a fortnight ago, after the inspection of the industry’s readiness for a restart by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on Covid-19, a media statement from the airport managers reported on the findings of the inspectors and especially on the utterances of the Minister thus;

“According to Senator Sirika, domestic passengers will now have to get to the airports like three hours before departure, while international passengers would be expected to get to the airports about five hours before their flight. This is to ensure that all protocols, including safety markings, social distancing, hand sanitizing, baggage decontamination, scanning of personal items, etc. are complied with forthwith.”

Without iota of doubt, empirical evidence from less than one week’s flight operations made it imperative for the Minister to ensure the man hour to be burnt at the terminal building is reduced by fifty percent hence the new time line of arrival before departure is now reduced to an hour and half only.

Photo Credit: Isaac Jimoh Ayodele

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