Managers of the nation’s airports say it never totally shut down its operations at the heat of the lock down as some of the airports were receiving COVID-19 preventive materials such as the Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, tons of medicament used in testing and treating COVID-19 patients, numerous other medical infrastructure used for quickly built hospital annexes, isolation centers and several quarantine centers, including numerous evacuation flights were adequately serviced at the aerodromes during the lock-down.
Hence, the reopening of the airports on 21st June 2020, would not pose any challenge to the airports’ manager, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. While the newly introduced safety protocols are not entirely alien to the operator but would appreciate speedy approval of a reviewed protocol by FAAN, which takes cognizance of aerodrome operational safety and security, now before the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu, made the disclosure while fielding questions from a television programs, on the preparedness of the agency to commence operations seamlessly on the new date announced to fully open five of the nation’s airports.
Captn Yadudu said since the airports were attending to humanitarian and emergency flights ever since the lockdown was in force, beginning full operations in less than three weeks pose no challenge.
He said that in collaboration with stakeholders, FAAN had developed increased protective layer of safety and security and had made a formal request to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for the elevated safety protocols to be included in the basic protocol from the Presidential Task Force and the National Center for Disease Control, NCDC.
Yadudu explained that the peculiarity of airport operations informed the further request for more layers of safety and security to ensure adequate protection for airport personnel, passengers, airlines and stakeholders.
He said the new improved protocol with the FEC for approval was a product of the airlines, ground handlers, immigration, customs, security operatives and the aerodrome managers. He added that private managers of concession airport were also involved in the elevated safety protocol developed and awaiting approval for its execution in earnest.
Giving a glimpse of what the elevated protocol contains, Capt Yadudu explained it built on the COVID-19 safety protocol proffered by the Presidential Task Force, PTF which enunciated on physical distancing, use of face masks among others.
He urged anyone desiring access to the airport to be harmed with nose mask as failure will gurantee such person a denied access.
In compliance to the new airport protocol, the FAAN helmsman disclosed that henceforth, before anyone could get access to the airport, his/her body temperature will be checked, wearing of nose mask a must.
The FAAN MD/CEO implored everyone within any of its terminal to remember it’s no more business as usual as there will be markings on the floor to guide how physical distancing need be maintained.
He said chairs will also be marked to provide guidance towards physical distancing in the seating arrangement. Counters he added will have transparent barriers while all airlines are under compulsion to provide hand sanitizers for passengers and staff at the airline expense.
Capt Yadudu said the airport security operatives had gotten adequate training to ensure passengers comply with the protocols and recalcitrant person would equally provoke commensurate attention to enforce compliance
He said the drastic loss of aeronautic revenue during this pandemic had awaken strong consideration to exploit how none aeronautic revenue could be cultivated and make a more formidable source of revenue for airport managers.
Yadudu said there was harmonious relationship between the management of FAAN and the labour unions. He said FAAN had regularly been engaging the workers on its financial condition so that that they both could mutually understand the plight of one another.
– Arise TVShare