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Air Peace may face sanctions for test-flying 25 planes without approval

Strong indications emerged Friday that airlines that test-ran their fleet from Lagos to Abuja this week run the risk of being sanctioned for doing so without express approval from the relevant regulatory agency.

Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had midweek frowned at the act displayed by some airlines that flew their aircrafts without any form of approval.

Checks show that Air Peace has test-ran several aircrafts from Lagos to Abuja in readiness for imminent flight resumption between five selected national airports.

The airports include Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Owerri and Port Harcourt.

On the other hand, all is set for the Federal Government to announce a date for the commencement of domestic flights between Monday and Wednesday next week.

The Aviation Minister, Senator 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. Meanwhile, ahead of domestic travel restart, Air Peace and Dana Air on Wednesday embarked on out of storage test flights for its 25 aircraft.