We issued NOTAM, not intl’ flight resumption date-NAMA

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has clarified that its three months Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from July 15  to October  15, 2020 should not be misconstrued as date for lifting of ban on international air travel.

The agency in a statement to clarify its position said its attention was drawn to insinuations making the rounds in certain quarters that Nigerian airports have been shut to international flights until the middle of October, 2020, describing it as entirely untrue.

Spokesman for NAMA, Mr. Khalid Emele stated that following the receipt of an All Operators Letter (NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/152) from NCAA, the agency issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) titled “Phased Resumption of Domestic Flights” on July 7th 2020 to the effect that Lagos and Abuja airports will open for domestic flight operations on July 8th , Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Maiduguri and Uyo opens on July 11, and all other airports on July 15 2020.

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NAMA MD, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu

To him, the NOTAM was issued for a minimum duration of three months in view of the fact that a specific date for resumption of international flights has not been confirmed by the Minister of Aviation nor the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

For the avoidance of doubt, Emele noted that the agency on July 15th, 2020, in line with international standards, issued a three-month duration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) (from July 15th to  October 15th 2020).

He further explained that the Federal Government has extended the closure of the nation’s airports to all international flights with the exception of aircraft in a state of emergency, with approval that may be requested and granted to over-flights, operations related to humanitarian aids.

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Others include medical relief flights, alternate aerodrome in the flight plan and also those being used for extended diversion time operation, technical landings where passengers do not disembark, cargo flights and other safety-related operations.

His words, “Finally, while the agency looks forward anxiously towards the reopening of Nigerian airports to international flights, we wish to clarify that the import of the said NOTAM and AIC is NOT that Nigerian airports remain closed till October 15th, 2020”.

Wole Shadare