Capt Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, Managing Director/CEO, Federal Airports Authority Of Nigeria, FAAN
Though the data on COVID-19 index cases in Nigeria does not reflect a downward curve in the battle against the highly lethal pestilence, as its spread slowly progresses. Evidence shows that few states that in less than a week ago, had no record of infection had joined the fray.
It is a self-evident truth that the federal and state governments have picked the gauntlet in the fight against COVID-19. International and domestic partners have all stood up in the fight against the ubiquitous coronavirus. As a measure to check its spread, the World Health Organisation, WHO recommended restriction on the movement of mankind as a means to mitigate its spread and eventual eradication of COVID-19. This anti-thetical to aviation.
That the travel industry is the hardest hit by this familiar disease with a devastating consequence cannot be controverted. Globally, the pandemic succeeded in bringing air transport and its entire value chain on their knees.
However, mankind is gradually winning the battle. Air transport is now feeling a sigh of relief. The world is raising aviation from its comatose. The International Air Transport Association, IATA, has given conditionalities to restart the industry. Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has released COVID-19 Pandemic Public Health Protocols for Nigerian based crew operating international flights to observe. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has put together a Standard Operating Practice, SOP, at our airports which will soon be made public for adoption.
Pictures above revealed the preliminary work of disinfecting the entire facilities in Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt and Kano. These exercises are done with the view to cover the entire 22 airports under the oversight of FAAN, in due time.
The SOP for the airport is expected to highlight COVID-19 safety protocols with respect to safety, hygiene and operating efficiency with touchless interaction between passengers and airport and airline staff.
The expected site at the airport on the resumption of flight would be among others, the floor markings highlighting approved measure of physical distancing when on the queue both at the departure and arrival halls when boarding the co-bus when the passenger is waiting to pick his/her baggage from the conveyor belt. How the seating arrangement will comply with physical distancing protocol etc.
Without mincing words, when the airport is reopened, air transport paraphernalia would have drastically changed from what it used to be, pre COVID-19 era. One thing is clear, the airport manager is under obligation to provide different precautionary measures in their myriads of forms to safeguard the health of the customers, guests and employees.Share