Earlier today, The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, conducted a test-run for the resumption of activities with passengers duly screened, in line with safety protocols following the coronavirus pandemic which has halted major business institutions activities in the country.
The airport also witnessed strict compliance to other safety measures, targeted at preventing the spread of the virus.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that provisions were made for hand wash and alcohol-based sanitisers, there were temperature checks, as well as strict compliance to social distancing of about one metre.
Journalists covering the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 were led on dry run test from Lagos to Abuja, to witness firsthand, reopening of the aviation sector.
NAN reports that checks for COVID-19 safety protocols and screening were carried out on passengers at the departure lounge.
NAN also reports that the seats, which were usually crowded, have been rearranged in compliance with the social distancing rule.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, while speaking during the exercise, explained that the flight simulation was to achieve five things, which included maintaining physical distance, wearing protective materials such as face mask and face shield, maintaining hygiene, cleaning the area and surfaces, and seating in an environment that is clean and hygienic while maintaining physical distance.
“So we can board the aircraft decontaminated so we don’t contaminate others. All of the things that has happened here is to ensure we don’t spread COVID-19,” he said.
According to him, the authorities are ensuring efficient facilitation of passengers so time is not wasted in adopting the new normal.
“We will announce all the protocols again before opening. But you need to be at the airport three hours ahead of your flight,” he stated.
Inscriptions to further guide passengers, such as “do not use this seat”, “keep your distance”, were placed on the seats.
NAN also reports that two newly acquired machines, for the purpose of identifying passengers, had been stationed at the airport.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had a few weeks ago, said that the airport would reopen for business on August 27, after months of closure following the coronavirus outbreak.