FAAN MD, Yadudu lauds passengers as domestic flights resume in Abuja, Lagos

 

The Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), has commended passengers for complying with the COVID-19 protocols put in place at the airports.

Domestic flights resumed on Wednesday in Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja after over three months of airport closure over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authority explained it thought the compliance level by passengers would be poor being the first time of operating after months of closure.

Some of the airlines that operated from Lagos to Abuja include; Air Peace, Arik Air, Ibom Air and Max Air.

The schedules of some of the flights operated and the number of persons on board are; “ARA720

B738 Arik flight 5NMJQ from Lagos to Abuja. It was airborne at 0620 UTC with 78 persons onboard and nine crew members.

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The second restart departure flight for Max Air flight was NGL1640 a B733 with registration 5NBBM. It departed from Lagos to Abuja and was airborne at 0921 UTC with 55 persons on board and five crew.

 

Air Peace operated flight APK7120 B737 with registration: 5NBQP from Lagos to Abuja. It departed by 1045UTC and had 112 persons on board and nine crew.

Ibom Air however recorded low turnout of passengers on its flight IAN4152 CRJ9 5NBWL from Lagos to Abuja with 31 persons onboard and five crew. It departed around 1030UTC.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja after inspecting adherence to measures put in place to ensure smooth flight, the Managing Director of FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu said: “The situation is looking very good just like we expected. It took a lot of planning and efforts from all sides; the airlines, the handlers, agencies, stakeholders and of course FAAN is the primary agent responsible in this facility.

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“So, a lot of work has gone and right now we are here, operations are going on very smoothly and we do not foresee any issue either major or minor.”

On the capacity of passengers each airline is expected to carry in order to observe the physical distancing protocol, he said: “It is not an issue of percentage or capacity.

“We are monitoring and they are doing enough spacing to ensure that the regulations are abided with. It is not about capacity. We want to make sure that all stakeholders and not just airlines operate at maximum capacity provided there is no violation of the regulations because of capacity changes.”

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On passenger’s compliance with COVID-19 protocols, he said: “There were no issues with the passengers. We were worried about the planning we put into this because it is only a plan. We thought implementation was going to be really difficult because we could not predict passenger’s response but I must say that the cooperation has been very tremendous and we really appreciate it.”

He also hinted that the use of robots and other special measures at the airport would be gradual.

Wole Shadare