Nigerian govt okays Abuja airspace for commercial helicopters

Nigerian govt okays Abuja airspace for commercial helicopters
March 15 21:04 2017

The federal government on Wednesday rescinded its decision to ban commercial helicopters from flying Abuja airspace.

National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Major General Babagana Monguno, had in a memo banned commercial helicopters from flying Abuja airspace, saying it is controlled and that only security flights or those with permission from the presidency would be allowed to use it.

Commercial helicopter companies had offered to provide air transport between Abuja and Kaduna following a six-week closure of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja for repairs.

Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja that the ban has been reversed.

“On the helicopter issue the National Security Adviser has the responsibility to advise the President on national security matters. In his wisdom he had earlier on sent out letters banning the helicopters operation into the airport 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 under 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,” he said.

On the Kaduna flight operations in the last one week, Sirika said government was walking the talk, adding that the operations have been smooth so far.

The minister also told journalists that there are no plans to sanction foreign airlines that have refused to land in Kaduna following the closure of Abuja airport.