Only Keyamo can lift suspension of flights to Niger Republic – NAMA

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The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), has said that the ban on flights between Nigeria and Niger Republic remains, saying only the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, can lift it.

NAMA, however, stated that if authorised, over-flight aircraft passing through Niger airspace, aircraft in a state of emergency and special flights were exempted from the flight ban.

A statement by the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NAMA, Mr Abdullahi Musa, noted that in response to the political events that surrounded the coup d’état in the Republic of Niger on July 26, 2023, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, had convened a summit to address the situation.

It added that among the resolutions adopted during the summit was the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger as well as the establishment of a no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger.

The statement reads: “As of 0600 UTC on August 3, 2023, aircraft departing from or arriving at aerodromes within the Niamey Flight Information Region (FIR-Nigerien Airspace) were prohibited from entering Kano FIR until further notice.

“Following standard procedures, the NOTAM transitioned into an Aeronautical Information Circular, AIC, on January 29, 2024. The AIC reiterated the suspension of all commercial flights between Niger and Nigeria, as well as flights overflying Nigeria to Niger. However, certain exemptions were outlined, including over-flight aircraft passing through Niger airspace, aircraft in a state of emergency, and special flights. It is important to note that special flights require authorization from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

“It is crucial to highlight that the suspension of flights can only be lifted by the Minister of Aviation and AeroSpace Development as approved by the Presidency and ECOWAS.

“The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of airspace users, in compliance with international regulations and directives.”