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Senate faults Kano airport COVID-19 preventive measures ahead flight resumption

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Ahead of domestic flight resumption at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (MAKIAK), the Senate has faulted COVID-19 preventive measures put in place by Ministry of Aviation to curtail the pandemic from spreading in the country.

Senate stated that the Kano and other airports were key to minimizing and eradicating the infection which had claimed several lives from spreading in the country.

Kano, Maiduguri, and Benin airports were scheduled by the Federal Government to commence full domestic flight operations on July 15 after activities resume at Lagos and Abuja airports.

Faulting the preparation made for flight resumption at MAKIAK, Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, stated that there was inadequate water supply at the airport as against Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Adeyemi said: “I want to suggest that the minister looks at the possibilities of extending the supply of water to the departure point of this airport. All other things that are needed have been put in place.

“ I also believe that there is still a need for adequate information on the board to direct passengers who will be coming in, especially those who will be coming in newly. When we compare to that of Abuja we discovered that the departure needs few things to be put in place.

“A lot of campaign still needs to be done within and outside the airport against the spread of COVID-19. With this exception, I know they have done the best that is required of them,” he added.

The chairman, however, commended the Aviation Ministry for good supervision to ensure the right things were done towards safety to ensure COVID -19 was not spread at the airports.

“ Quiet a measure of things have been put in place as far as this airport is concerned to ensure that there is adequate protection and safety for passengers who will be coming in and going out.

“When you talk about this pandemic, the airport is key to eradicating and minimizing the infection. Today we have gone round to see the measures already on the ground with the objective of minimizing the spread,“ he said.

Earlier, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, commended Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for measures put in place at the airports to flatten COVID-19 curve.

Sirika commended the agencies when he led a team of aviation industry stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to MAKIAK on a simulation exercise with MaxAir Flight.

The minister said the two organisations had done extremely well on physical distancing and good hygiene being established and properly followed at the nation`s airports.

“I am very glad that NCAA and FAAN have done extremely very well under our watch to ensure that everything we put in place on physical distancing and good hygiene is being established and followed.

“So, we believe this airport is one of those airports that are safe to operate in and out during this COVID-19. I am happy with what I saw and it is good enough for us to go,“ the minister said.

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