FG to reopen Kano and Port Harcourt airports for international flights
After several months of being shutdown, Port Harcourt and Kano airports will soon be opened for international flights.
The Nigerian government announced the reopening of the Kano and Port Harcourt airports for international flights. This comes 3 months after Lagos and Abuja airports were reopened for operations.
This was disclosed by Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), during the daily Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
What you should know
It was reported in August that The Federal Government has commenced the process of gradual resumption of international flight operations in Lagos and Abuja which were suspended as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
The FG later postponed the resumption date for international flights to September 5th 2020. This came after the FG announced the reopening of 14 airports across the nation for full domestic operations in July.
The Federal Government also commissioned the reopening of the reconstructed Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu on Sunday, August 30, 2020.
At the briefings, Mr. Nuhu disclosed that both airports reopening for International flights will be fully operational after the ICT infrastructure issues have been fixed and manpower is fully adequate for International resumption.
Nuhu said the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) will provide the ICT support wand the manpower would be provided by the Port Health Services
He added that opening the airport for International flights was necessary to decongest Lagos and Abuja airports.
FG denies banning passengers without proof of Covid-19 vaccination
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied media reports alleging that the Federal Government through the agency has issued a directive banning travellers without proof of Covid-19 vaccination from travelling both local and international flights.
The aviation sector regulator said there was no iota of truth about such action which was allegedly supposed to take effect from December 1, 2021, and asked the general public to discountenance such news.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the General Manager Public Relations of NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, on Thursday in Lagos, saying that no such directive emanated from the agency.
What the Spokesman of NCAA is saying in the statement
Adurogboye said, “We want to state categorically that no such directive emanated from the government through NCAA. Therefore, the Authority is calling on the public to discountenance such news as there is no iota of truth in it.
“On the other hand, we want to enjoin purveyors of such unfounded news to cross-check facts before publishing.’’
The general manager expressed NCAA’s continuous support for all government initiatives to curb the spread of the Delta variant.
He added, “However, we expect strict adherence to safety protocols in and out of the airports by wearing our facemask, washing our hands periodically, using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, maintaining social distance and avoiding crowded space.’’
What air passengers should expect as NiMET predicts 3 days downpour from Monday
The recent announcement by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) which predicted three days of thunderstorms, cloudiness and downpour from Monday to Wednesday this week, across the country, may have sent jitters through air travellers, particularly those who plan to travel by air for the upcoming Muslim holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Although flying in the rain can sometimes create long-lasting impressions of fear and flying apathy in passengers, it is not as hazardous as people may think. Here are a few things that air travellers should know about flying in the rain.
It is safe to fly when it is raining/windy
It is important to note that flying when it is raining or windy is safe, as it does not always mean the flight will be a rough one. Since you are likely going to arrive at the airport and remain on the ground prior to any boarding and take-off, there is no cause for fear.
The air traffic controllers (ATC) will not clear an aircraft for take-off if the weather conditions are dangerous. In the worst case, a flight may get delayed and passengers would need to be patient as the delay is to ensure their safety.
Expect a bumpy flight
The flight could get bumpy but that is not to say that the aircraft will crash. Flying through monsoon clouds, especially the curly, rainstorm type, will mean bumps, thuds, sudden drops and inexplicable ‘lifts’ of the aircraft.
Think about it somewhat like manoeuvring a car through potholes and road bumps. As irritating as these things are, they will not necessarily tear a vehicle apart.
Lightning will not affect the aircraft
Lightning accompanying rainfall could hit an aircraft but this hurts neither the aircraft nor the passengers as aeroplanes are built to absorb over eight times the energy carried by a bolt of lightning.
More crucially, in the event of a strike, the energy is dissipated through tiny, pin-like devices on the wings, and does not affect the passengers or the aircraft’s electronics.
Your pilot may choose to land after a strike but that is most likely to be as a safety precaution and not because the aircraft is in a distress situation. There are many incidences that warrant a pilot terminating a journey (making an air return) as a precautionary measure.
Aircraft are built to withstand rough weather
It is also important for passengers to know that aircraft are conceptualised, designed and built to withstand the roughest of weather conditions, including rain. Therefore, a heavy downpour will not tear the plane apart. The wings of an aircraft can withstand extreme pressure, as can the cabin. Advanced aviation navigational aid equipment that are now installed at airports and built into aircraft can facilitate the landing of an aircraft in low visibility without fuss, even if it’s raining cats and dogs, as they say, and no one can see the runway.
Look up to the cabin crew
It’s not uncommon for nervous flyers to imagine the cockpit crew working the controls trying to negotiate a rough patch. The truth, however, is that your pilot is probably worrying about keeping the coffee in his (or her) cup.
Turbulence is common, and in several cases, is negotiated by the aircraft’s autopilot. Also, flight attendants have been trained to handle all worst-case scenarios.
When your aircraft is tossing about and you are trying to figure if it’s safe or not, always pause and observe the flight attendants. They don’t want to die either. Observe how they seem completely unaffected and draw confidence from them that all is well with the flight.
Take a seat right on the wing
If you have a phobia for flying and you know you are bound to get nervous due to inclement weather, then take a seat right on the wing, closest to the aircraft’s centre of gravity, and you will have a relatively calm flight no matter what happens in the sky. But on an aircraft, just like a long bus, if you sit at the back of the aircraft, you’re bound to have a bumpy ride.
Keep to the instructions of the crew
This is by far the most important thing to do. Turbulence is the number one cause of injuries to air passengers in the sky and most often, it’s because some passengers won’t obey the simple instruction to fasten their seat belts.
You may think it’s okay to ignore the seat-belt sign when the goings have been good and it’s nice and sunny outside, but once the weather changes and the seat belt signs come on, it’s best to obey and get the belt buckled.
In case you missed it
The NiMet’s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted chances of thunderstorms over parts of Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa and Yobe States in the morning hours on Monday.
NiMet said, “Thunderstorms are expected over the entire Northcentral region in the afternoon and evening periods.
“Inland and Coastal cities of the South are expected to be cloudy over the Southwestern region, with chances of morning rains over Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebony, Ogun, Lagos, Cross River, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.”
FG approves reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri for daylight operations
Osubi Airport will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions and observe COVID-19 protocols.
The Federal Government approved the reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri, Delta State for daylight operations on Monday.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, via his Twitter handle on Monday.
According to him, the facility will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions, while observing COVID-19 protocols.
He tweeted, “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in Visual Flight rules (VFR) conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
VFR are a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.
What you should know
- The Airport, which was commissioned on 17th April 1999 by the former Minister of Aviation, Captain Briggs, is managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
- In 2020, the Federal Government, in a letter to all the aviation parastatals, had allegedly terminated the contract of Shoreline Oil Services Limited, the operator of the airport, with immediate effect, citing incompetence.
- The facility has been a subject of controversy since it changed hands from the original owner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Shoreline in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015.