Abuja Airport Closure: FG reverses ban on helicopters

March 16th, 2017 By Category Uncategorized
The federal govern­ment has reversed the ban on helicop­ters from flying over Abuja following the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Air­port (NAIA).
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, told State House Correspondents about the reversal after the Fed­eral Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Mon­guno, had last Monday poured cold water on the plans of private and com­mercial helicopter services operators to ferry passen­gers between Abuja and Kaduna, which is now the alternative airport to NAIA.
He had written to the operators, declaring that the airspace over the fed­eral capital territory, Abuja is controlled and only secu­rity flights or those with the requisite security clearance from the Presidency are granted overhead clear­ance for obvious security reasons.
“Consequently, you are to note and ensure that charter or commercial heli­copter ferry flights are not allowed to fly within Abuja airspace.”
However, Sirika dis­closed that the ban has been lifted but the exact location of landing pads for the helicopters is yet to be decided on and communi­cated to the operators.
According to him, “The National Security Adviser has the constitutional re­sponsibility vested on him by Mr President to advise the President on national security matters.
“But the National Secu­rity Adviser had earlier this morning said that helicop­ters will, of course, con­tinue to fly to Abuja airport from wherever.
“The procedure that they will use to approach the air­port and the landing spot will be advised accordingly before the end of today which means that helicop­ters can come into Abuja and out bearing in mind that within the metropoli­tan city of Abuja, there are no fly zones and this is very normal in every country.
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