FAAN Expresses Worry over Infected Passengers Aboard Aircraft

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has expressed worry over air passengers’ disregard for COVID-19 protocols.

Airport Manager of Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos Victoria Shin-Aba explained on Thursday that travellers often boarded flights despite testing positive for the virus.

According to her, “People with positive COVID test still come to the airport to board, I don’t know for whatever reason. They know with this they can’t travel but they still bring it, but definitely, they are not allowed to travel.

“We have to ensure that both passengers and staff obey and comply with protocols,” she noted.

Recently, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in a memo to all airlines operating international flights in and out of Nigeria, threatened them with a $3,500 fine per passenger as well as a ban from coming into Nigeria over issues around the pandemic.

The memo, which was forwarded to our correspondent this afternoon, charged airlines to only board passengers with evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test not less than 48 hours of boarding.

She, however, expressed delight that passenger traffic had increased tremendously since last week and that the current facilities at the terminal were being overstretched as a result of long usage. She expressed hope that it could soon be over when the new terminal would be inaugurated.

“The terminal was built for the capacity of two million passengers but as we talk, we do have 10 million passengers. Definitely, it is well overstretched and we still do our best for passengers’ comfort but the challenge is the cooling system, but we are still working on them.”

Regarding vehicular movements, she said the new system of parking had greatly helped decongest the environment of illegal parking and the terminal had more capacity to accommodate people and vehicles at the front of the terminal now.