The minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, is ready for domestic operations as it has met the necessary COVID-19 protocol for activities to commence.
Sirika, who stated this after inspecting the protocol put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as the physical distancing marks, hand sanitizer fixed at strategic positions and other features, said he believes the airport is ready for operations.
Sirika also noted that the airports at Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri were all set for domestic operations as planed.
According to him, “I am very glad and I think the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria have done extremely very well under our watch to ensure that everything is put in place to ensure physical distancing, good hygiene is being established and is being 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.”
On sitting arrangement, he said: “sitting in an airplane, because of the nature of the airplane, the airplane is hygienic enough once you have your mask, you are safe to remain seated on your seat and where possible, we will keep the distance.”
“However, let me explain the mechanics that is going onset in an airplane that makes it safe in COVID-19 period. Airplanes are designed in such a way that the ambient air at altitudes is clean. It is not contaminated. The air is dropped in the aircraft, pressurised and because of pressure, the temperature of the air goes up to 200 degrees which is twice boiling water and there is no bacteria or virus that can survive it and is it suddenly cooled to about 2 degrees centigrade and then it is passed to a filter. A high efficiency filter and passing through the filtration system ensures that every single organism is screened and then it is passed to the cabin and once it is passed through the cabin, it comes from the ceiling downwards. So, it is not coming from the cockpit to the rear, it is from the ceiling downwards and it drops on the floor and gets circulated. This circulation happens every two minutes.
“So, on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, the circulation will happen like 27 to 30 times. With this, it is ensured that it is more hygienic to be in an airplane than to be in an operating theatre in the hospital.”