The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday says it observed that some airlines operating domestic flights in the country are breaching the protocol put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The regulatory agency, therefore, warned defaulters to desist from the act or face “severe penalties” including “cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations”.
The NCAA in a letter directed to local airlines on Monday stressed that the resumption of domestic operations was predicated on compliance with protocol put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
The letter was titled, ‘Non-Compliance With COVID-19 Protocol’ and signed by NCAA director-general, Capt Musa Nuhu.
It read, “It has been brought to the notice of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority that some domestic airline operators have not been complying with the COVID-19 protocol as released through All Operators Letter (AOL) DG 035/20 ref. NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/260 dated 4th September, 2020 and Advisory Circular (AC) NCAA-AC-AMS-006 dated 4th September, 2020.
“Approvals for resumption of domestic operations are predicated on compliance with the above protocol.
“This is a warning to all domestic operators who are not in compliance to desist from such acts immediately.
“The continued non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocol will attract severe penalties up to and including cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations. Please be guided accordingly.”
It was reported that the Federal Government reopened 14 local airports when domestic flight operations resumed in July after months of closure caused by the pandemic.
The government subsequently reopened all airports in the country including private airports and airstrips for domestic flights. It also reopened the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja as well as the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for international flights which commenced earlier this month.
FG had warned airlines operating international flights that failure to comply with COVID-19 protocol would attract a fine of $3,500 per passenger while defaulting passengers risk six-month suspension.