Kelvin Osa Okunbor, Lagos and Religion Yahaya, Abuja
THREE months after the airspace was shut to industrial flights to include the unfold of Coronavirus, key airports have been abuzz on Wednesday and planes tore by means of the skies.
There was pleasure because the aviation trade returned to full operations domestically, though with low passenger turnout on that first day.
The return got here with contemporary realities, together with greater fares and obligatory compliance with rigorous security tips
An economic system class seat on Lagos -Abuja and Abuja -Lagos route – the one one which operated on Wdnesday, went for between N29, 000 and N33,000.
Passengers paid between N21,000 and N25,000 for such seat pre-COVID 19.
In addition to paying extra, passengers contended with stricter test -in measures on the terminal buildings. The measures embrace obligatory checking of physique temperature , disinfection of bags, bodily distancing throughout check-in process and others rolled out for flights by aviation authorities.
Arik Air, Air Peace, Max Air and Ibom Air Air operated flights out of the 2 home wings – Common Aviation Terminal (GAT) and Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) of the airport in Lagos.
The primary flight to Abuja from Lagos was operated by Arik Air. The flight took off at about 7.15 am with boarding supervised by Officers of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Nigeria’s oldest carrier- AeroContractors- and Dana, which didn’t begin flights together with Arik Air, Air Peace, Max Air and Ibom Air Air, stated they might at present.
Officers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) additionally monitored compliance with the COVID-19 flight tips.
Chatting with reporters in Abuja after inspecting adherence to the measures, FAAN Managing Director Rabiu Yadudu counseled passengers for his or her behaviour.
He stated: “The scenario is trying excellent similar to we anticipated. It took loads of planning and efforts from all sides; the airways, the handlers, businesses, stakeholders and naturally FAAN is the first agent accountable on this facility.
“Numerous work has gone and proper now we’re right here, operations are happening very easily and we don’t foresee any situation both main or minor.”
On the capability of passengers every airline is predicted to hold to look at the bodily distancing , Yadudu stated: “It isn’t a problem of share or capability. We’re monitoring and they’re doing sufficient spacing to make sure that the laws are adopted.
“We wish to guarantee that all stakeholders, and never simply airways, function at most capability supplied there isn’t a violation of the laws due to capability modifications.”
He additionally defined that there was no situation with passengers’ compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
He stated: ”There have been no points with the passengers. We have been fearful in regards to the planning we put into this as a result of it’s only a plan.
“We thought implementation was going to be actually troublesome as a result of we couldn’t predict passengers’ response. However I have to say that the cooperation has been very super and we actually admire it.”
Yadudu additionally hinted that using robots and different particular measures on the airport can be gradual.
“The robots didn’t come on the primary day of resumption, we wish to do it primarily based on sensible scanners on the bottom,” he added.
FAAN’S Director of Operation Muktar Muye and his Safety Companies counterpart, Group Captain Sadique Usman (rtd), who monitored flights out of Lagos, stated passenger turnout was considerable.
In addition they applauded the conduct of passengers with the protocols put in place at the terminals.
Director, Airspace and Aerodromes Requirements, NCAA, Mr.. Tayib Odunowo, who flew on Arik’s first flight out of Lagos, counseled the procedures and expressed pleasure that the work put in to attain the restart of home flights paid off.
Some passengers on the Lagos and Abuja airports stated they have been happy with the efforts put in place to make sure their security.
An oil and gasoline professional, Mr. Daniel Ogbole, heading to Lagos from Abuja stated: “My flight is for 12:30 pm I arrived three hours forward of my 12.30 am flight. The protocol is good. They sanitized our baggage and made us to scrub our fingers earlier than permitting us entry into the terminal constructing.
“Aside from bodily distancing on the queue, they made positive everybody of us wore facemask.”
A Comptroller on the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ahmed Abu, who was additionally heading for Lagos, described the course of as strenuous, however needed.
He stated: “We needed to be right here, at the least, three hours earlier than the scheduled time. We underwent strenuous protecting measures to mitigate the unfold of COVID-19 throughout the check-in processes.
”I commend the authorities for the efforts taken to guard lives on the airport. I really feel very a lot protected as a result of all the mandatory protecting measures have been put in place.”
One other passenger, Toyin Adetunji, described his expertise on the Abuja airport as nice.
Airline operators expressed happiness with the compliance stage of passengers.