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Hope Rises For International Travellers, As Aviation Minister Promises Resumption “In A Matter Of Weeks”

“So, we will open as soon as all of us are happy to open and I want to adopt what the national coordinator has said by saying, it will be in weeks rather than in months for international flights to resume”.

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Nigerians whose international travels have been hampered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic can now heave a sigh of relief as Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika has disclosed international flights would soon resume.

Alhough the Minister did not give any specific date,he however stated that international flights would resume in a matter of weeks.
Sirika disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday during the daily national briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“We in civil aviation want to open like yesterday. We are bleeding. We are sacking our workers, we are not paying salaries.
*Sirika

“We must move or fly from one point to another in order for us to remain in business but that is not the case now. So, we really want to open but we can’t open alone.

“PTF has set up a technical committee to come up with the state where everybody is happy to start.
“If it were up to us, we won’t even close the airports but we were forced by the virus to close.

“So, we will open as soon as all of us are happy to open and I want to adopt what the national coordinator has said by saying, it will be in weeks rather than in months for international flights to resume.

“So please do not blame any of us because we have been putting efforts to ensure we open.

“We feel your pain and we know that the closure of the airports has separated families and friends and denied some access to hospitals abroad, schools and businesses.

“The continuous closure is not on purpose or punitive, it is just to ensure that we remain safe and healthy and the Government is conscious of this fact and we are all aware of the adverse effect of the closure of the airport.”

Nigeria’s airspace was shut down to both domestic and international flights in March, but domestic operations resumed in July.

Aviation

NIMET RECEIVES ISO AWARDS FOR AERONAUTICAL METEOROLOGY AND CAPACITY BUILDING

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) has been awarded the quality management services ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 29990: 2010 for aeronautical meteorology services at the airports and capacity building at its regional training centre in Lagos.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, James Odaudu stated that the certification award,  which is valid for one year, follows the successful completion of the 2022 maintenance audit process.

Presenting the ISO certifications to the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika, the Director General of Nimet, Professor Mansur Matazu said the certification will promote the relevance and visibility of the agency in Nigeria, and Nigeria in the international community.

Professor Matazu presenting one of the awards won by NiMet to the Minister

He told the minister that “the International Standard Organization (ISO) requires that all services providers and training institutions in the world should subject themselves to periodic auditing to qualify for issuance of the appropriate certificate. This is to ensure effectiveness and excellence in the quality of service rendered to all relevant clients”.

“Based on that Nimet invited ISO through CERTECH for the certification exercise by subjecting its service across the nation’s airports and regional training centre in Lagos to a rigorous audit process” he said.

The Director-General appreciated the Minister and the Federal Government for providing the resources, guidance and support that enabled the agency to successfully attain the certification. He pledged that with continuous support, the agency will remain committed to achieving excellent service delivery.

Reacting, the Minister congratulated the agency for the great feat it has achieved.

He said the credit for the achievement goes to the present administration that provided all the support needed resources to Nimet to ensure effective service delivery and well-trained meteorologists as well as meteorological technicians.

Sirika promised to formally present the awards, and those won by other agencies of the Ministry, to President Muhammadu Buhari at a convenient time.

According to him, the planned presentation to the President is to appreciate his unalloyed support for the Aviation sector and to know that the support has been yielding dividends.

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Aviation

FEC Approves N707 Million For Aviation Accident Investigation Equipment

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The Federal Executive Council has approved N707. 9 million for the procurement of investigation tools for the Accident Investigation Bureau of the Nigerian Aviation Sector.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the tool, when procured,

Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika (file photo)

would aid investigations, whenever an aircraft is involved in an accident in any part of the country.

“The memo was for the deployment of an investigation tool by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). That tool permits the AIB to be able to record going-ons in flights; God forbid, should there be a need to investigate an accident, or a serious incident and the tool will help them to do so.

“That procurement is in the sum of N707, 962, 854. 83, an equivalent of 1, 506, 285.70 Euros, inclusive of 7.5 percent value-added tax at the Central Bank’s exchange rate of N470 to a Euro, with a delivery period of 11 months,” he stated.

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Aviation

Nigeria Air: FG Approves Lease of 3 Aircraft

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The process for the establishment of a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, got a boost on Wednesday with the Federal Government approving the lease of three aircraft for initial operations.

According to the approval by the Federal government,  the national carrier would begin operations with domestic routes the aircraft to .be procured from Airbus and Boeing

A statement by the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister of Aviation James Odaudu said the Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC)  presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika announced that the airline would begin with domestic routes, then expands to regional and intercontinental routes. He was not specific with the actual date for the take-off of the airline operation.

On the likely date  for the commencement of operations Sirika said the announcement will be made soon. “We will announce commencement soon,”

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