As commercial flights in the country prepare for resumption,reports have it that passengers and crew might undergo COVID-19 tests before every flight.
This is as contained in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan prepared by the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, The Punch reports.
The plan made provision for free Covid-19 tests for all passengers and crew for a period of 12 months. Recall that the Federal Executive Council 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 N27bn was apportioned to the Federal Ministry of Aviation to execute projects and plan of action within the sector for one year. The project elements are, “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.”
According to the report, the aviation sector is one of the most hit by pandemic with over 90% of its activities affected, resulting in losses valued at N21bn on a monthly basis.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has said a simulation flight will be conducted ahead of the reopening of the country’s airspace to commercial operations shut in March.
It said the flight will be operated by Aero Contractors beginning from the Abuja Airport to the Lagos Airport and vice-versa. The regulator is expected to announce the resumption date for scheduled domestic operations anytime soon.