Passengers and aircrew members may be required to undertake COVID-19 tests before they board planes when flight operations resume.
This directive is contained in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) prepared by the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the plan, COVID-19 tests for all passengers and crew will be free for an initial period of 12 months.
The Federal Executive Council had on Wednesday approved a N2.3 trillion stimulus plan proposed in the NESP designed to support the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sum of N27 billion was apportioned to the Federal Ministry of Aviation to execute projects and plan of action within the sector for one year.
The project includes “extend grant support including payroll support to the aviation industry including airlines, handlers, caterers and related services;
“Provision of single-digit soft loans, with long term repayment plan; Deferred payment of taxes and filing dates; Ensure the removal of Value Added Tax from airline tickets as approved by FEC;
“Provision of COVID-19 tests for all passengers and crew; Waiver of airport rent fees to airport operators for the duration of the lockdown plus one month; Begin processes for establishment of private sector-driven national carrier.”
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is expected to announce the resumption date for scheduled domestic operations anytime soon.
This is following the conduct of a simulation flight at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Saturday ahead of the reopening of the country’s airspace to commercial operations.