The first international flight landed on Saturday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, and this was coming after five months of closure of the Nigerian airspace due to the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Penpushing reports that, the flight from Beirut, Lebanon, made history as the first international flight to land anywhere in Nigeria airspace after months of airports closure, and landed at exactly 2.30p.m.
The Middle East Airline (MEA) aircraft was ceremonially welcomed with a water cannon demonstration by the officials of the Aerodrome and Rescue Fire Fighters, a Department in the Federal Airports Authorities (FAAN)
Penpushing further reports that other relevant agencies on ground to attend to passengers brought by the airline alongside airport officials include; Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Port Health Services (PHS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other relevant agencies were on ground to attend to the passengers brought in by the airline.
The passengers on arrival at the terminal presented their documents, including coronavirus test results for screening by the Port Health Services officials, while their travelling papers, passports and visas were handled by the immigration officials at the airport.
Penpushing also reports that, the passengers went through the protocols as approved by the Presidential Task Force (PTF), which include social distancing, as being currently observed on the domestic routes.
The Comptroller, Nigerian Immigration Service(NIS) in the airport, Abdullahi Usman while speaking on the procedures, said the process was seamless and passengers were cooperative while travelling documents were requested from them by the officials.
Penpushing reports that, the immigration boss explained that on arrival, Nigerians onboard need not to fill another travel card, saying that when necessary; the immigration service would give them the right form to fill.
“As you can see, the passengers are coming in quantum, not in a mass. The control of the passengers start from the disembarkation of the aircraft and you can see it yourself how orderly things were done.
‘The procedures remain the same. Social distancing is there. Nigerians have no need to fill another card. Once we have any other information to get from them, we will give them another card. We want to ensure seamless passengers clearance at the counters.”
The Regional Manager, South-West, Federal Airports Authorities(FAAN),Victoria Shin-Aba expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the management of Federal Airports Authorities(FAAN) for ensuring smooth return of flight services on the international scene.