By Rekpene Uket CRS-MOI Officer Reporting from Ministry of Aviation.

   The Management of the Magaret Ekpo International Airport     has appealed for support and cooperation from relevant stakeholders to enhance smoot resumption of flight operations.

  Speaking during a stakeholders' meeting held recently at the International Departure Hall of the Airport in Calabar, the Managing Director of the Airport, Mr. Umunna Hillary stated that the re- opening of the Airport for flight operations would be based on  compliance with the Advisory/ Post COVD-19 Lockdown Restart Plans and Guidelines presented by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA).

Mr. Umuna therefore appealed for support from relevant stakeholders to ensure strict compliance to these guidelines in order to prevent importation/ exportation of COVID-19, adding that arrangements are under way by the Airport Authority to train her staff especially the front liners on how to make use of Personal Protection Equipment ( PPE) as well as ensure strict compliance to COVD-19 protocols such as regular hand washing with soap  under running water or Alcohol based hand sanitizer, use of face mask as well as social distancing and compulsory screening of passengers.

    The Airport Manager appreciated His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade as well as the Cross River State COVID-19 Team for their proactiveness and tremendous efforts in ensuring that  Cross River State is COVID-19 free.

 He also appealed to the Government for assistance in the provision of PPE's for the Security and AirPort Health Officials as well as reduction in the number of Officials escorting top government functionaries to the Airport adding that the Airport Authority is counting on the State Government's support in ensuring compliance to the NCAA guidelines in order to facilitate resumption of flight operations in Calabar.

  Mr Umunah further opined that henceforth, there will be mandatory use of face mask before you gain entry into the Airport, a canopy would be kept outside for passengers to sit and wait to be called in.  Only ten passengers will be allowed into the Terminal per time in order to observe social distancing both in the Terminal and during boarding.

 He further pointed out that passengers will also be required to fill a register/ manifest at the entrance as this would help in contact tracing.

    In view of the above, the Airport Manager appealed to prospective passengers to come to the Airport early prior to departure time in order to mitigate rush and also observe social distancing.

     Responding on behalf of the State Government, the  Commissioner for Aviation, Rt. Hon. Dr. Jake Otu Enyia assured the Airport Management of the readiness of the State Government to collaborate with the Airport Authority in ensuring smooth resumption of flight operations in Calabar adding that their request would be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for due consideration and relevant feedback.

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