By Kelvin Osa Okunbor and Faith Yahaya, Abuja
The Federal Government has said it would announce a date for the commencement of domestic flights next week.
The Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, said the sector was stalling the resumption of flights because it still needs to close some gaps.
He said a dry run test would be conducted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja as part of the preparation to commence flights.
He also said yesterday during the briefing by the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that “since the last announcement that Sunday 21st of June is no longer feasible for the opening of the airports, we would like to report that we have had significant progress in the readiness of the industry to restart.
Sirika, who was represented by the Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said: “The gaps have been closed but however, we still have a few gaps within the aviation ecosystem and this will be closed hopefully in the next couple of days.
“I have said it and I will keep saying it; we must get it right the first time both on the issues of technical safety and health safety of all stakeholders and one of the things we are going to use to close some of the gaps is a dry run test of both Lagos and Abuja airport coming up on Saturday.
“After the dry runs, we will observe the gaps that might still be there and close them. After that, we will announce the date of the restart next week.
Meanwhile, ahead of domestic travel restart, Air Peace and Dana Air on Wednesday embarked on out of storage test flights for its 25 aircraft.
The exercise which the carriers described as ” Shakedown Flights ” , according to its spokesman, Stanley Olisa was aimed at ensuring the aircraft are in tip – top condition having been grounded for close to three months under very strict storage maintenance.