Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday released a post-COVID-19 pandemic public health protocols for Nigeria-based crew operating international flights.
Under the protocol, flight crew must now wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of the flight.
The protocol also states that the flight crew would not be quarantined but undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at a cost to the air operator upon return to Nigeria.
However, flight crew members who test positive for COVID-19 would be taken to a treatment centre for further management.
In a letter with reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/120, dated May 27, 2020 and signed by the Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, to all operators, airports and other service providers, the agency said the new protocol, which was approved by the Federal Ministry of Health, replaced the current practice where Nigeria-based flight crew members who operate international flights are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.
The letter was made available to journalists in Abuja by Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Mr. James Odaudu.
The letter said Nigeria-based airlines/aircrew wishing to conduct flight operations outside the country should ensure orientation and sensitisation of crew on Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures as per training and guidance from public health authorities.
The airlines should also “ensure they have adequate stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), minimum 70 per cent alcohol-based hand sanitisers and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) onboard aircraft before the flight,” among other safety guidelines.