Nigeria-Niger Republic flights remain suspended – FG 

Bisola David
Bisola David
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The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency played a role in the ongoing prohibition on aircraft travel between the two countries.

The PUNCH reported that according to NAMA, exceptional flights, aircraft in a state of emergency, and over-flight aircraft using Nigerian airspace are among the approved exceptions to the embargo.

General Abdourrahamane Tchiani succeeded Mohamed Bazoum, the legitimately elected president of Niamey, after a military coup on July 26, 2023.

Consequently, the Niger Republic’s borders were closed and designated as a “No-Fly Zone” by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.

Nonetheless, the NAMA’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Abdullahi Musa, noted in a statement on Tuesday that in the wake of the coup d’état, the Economic Community of West African States convened an extraordinary summit to address the situation.

Closing the land and air borders of ECOWAS member nations with Niger and establishing a no-fly zone for all commercial flights to and from Niger were among the decisions passed during the summit.

Musa continued, saying that the Niger government had stopped overflying aircraft and flights into Nigeria as payback.

The Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development’s Permanent Secretary gave NAMA instructions to publish a Notice to Airmen on August 2, 2023, enforcing the no-fly zone on all commercial flights between Niger and Nigeria, according to the statement.

A part of the notification stated, “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.

“The Notice to Airmen, or NOTAM, became an Aeronautical Information Circular, or AIC, on January 29, 2024, in accordance with industry standards. The AIC reaffirmed the prohibition on all commercial flights overflying Nigeria and travelling from Niger to Nigeria.”

Nonetheless, a few exceptions were mentioned, such as special flights, aircraft in a state of urgency, and aircraft flying over Niger airspace. It is significant to remember that exceptional flights need permission from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development’s Permanent Secretary.

It is imperative to emphasize that the lifting of the flight suspension is contingent upon the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development receiving approval from both the Presidency and ECOWAS.”

Niger was among the three ECOWAS members that left the organization on Sunday, January 28.

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