By Audrey Lotechukwu
THUR, MAY 07 2020-theG&BJournal- The consequences and the weight attached to the devastating impact of the coronavirus on the aviation sector is becoming glaring. The sector is now the worst hit in the country according to the Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika.
About N17 billion is being lost by the airlines daily since the COVID-19 and the closure of Nigeria’s airspace to flights on March 23 2020. So far in terms of loss to the contribution of the GDP of the country, it is estimated at $885 million.
The minister said they are developing the guidelines to get airlines back to business safely.
‘’ We want to come back quick but in safe and secure manner.’’
But the highly regulated and co-ordinated sector will not be able to get back to business even after the airspace is reopened due to the high safety requirements which will be followed before airlines are allowed to fly again, Sirika noted.
‘’The flight crew have to conform with certain standards before they are allowed back to fly which includes licences renewals within the period, health and proficiency to be able to conduct a safe flight. The industry personnel also have to be retrained to be able to conduct post-COVID-19 industry activities on the airlines.’’
Meanwhile, the ban on all flights in Nigeria’s airspace has been extended for an additional four weeks. The extension comes after the Federal Government said it assessed the situation in the aviation industry and based on the advice of experts.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19 announced the extension Wednesday during the daily coronavirus situation briefings.