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NCAA Suspends Asky Airlines for Flying Ebola Virus Victim into Nigeria

NAN

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Asky Airlines BellaNaija

IKEJA (NAN) ― Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended all ASky Airline flight operations to Nigeria over the transportation of an Ebola virus victim into the country.

Benedict Adeyileka, the Acting Director-General of NCAA, announced the decision in a statement issued by the General Manager, Public Communications of NCAA, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, in Lagos on Monday.

He said that the regulatory authority had to take the action to protect Nigerians from the deadly Ebola virus, currently ravaging some parts of Africa.

The News agency of Nigeria reports that ASky Airline is an important player in   East, West and Central Africa, operating 80 flights into Lagos and Abuja weekly.

The airline flew a Liberian  infected with Ebola virus into Lagos, where he died.

Adeyileka said the Country Manager of  ASky had been invited to  explain issues relating to the trip but that he could not offer any conclusive or substantial evidence on the matter.

He  said that the airline manager did not demonstrate any capacity to be able to prevent a re-occurrence or possible transportation of Ebola victims into Nigeria.

“This is contrary to the provision of Article 14 of the Chicago Convention,1944, which states that `Each contracting State agrees to take effective measures to prevent the spread by means of air navigation, of cholera.

“Also of typhus (epidemic), smallpox, yellow fever, plague and such other communicable diseases as the contracting state shall from time to time decide to designate…..

“The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has similarly prescribed measures (Standard Practices) in Annex 9 to the Convention which a state must take to prevent the spread of communicable disease in the event of an outbreak.

“Annex 11 (Air Traffic Services) and Annex 14 (Aerodromes, Volume 1-Aerodrome Design and Operations) require air traffic services and aerodromes to establish contingency planning or aerodrome emergency plans, respectively for public health emergencies of International concern,” Adeyileka said. 

He noted that the lives of millions of Nigerians were too precious to be risked on the platter of negligence of an airline.

“The airline operations was therefore suspended with immediate effect until it is able to sufficiently and evidently prove that adequate machinery is in place to provide adequate screening of passengers in all their points of operation, including profiling of each passenger,” he said.

Adeyileka  directed the Directorate of Air Transport Regulation to proceed to write a letter of investigation to the airline.

He said that the agency would also write to other airlines operating into and out of Nigeria to ensure they put in place all necessary preventive measures during screening of passengers.

Adeyileka assured Nigerians that NCAA would coordinate the establishment of a Rapid Response Health Team at the International airports, being major ports of entry.

“This is to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria according to International best practices.

“The authority will support all the relevant health authorities in the implementation of adequate health measures,” he said.

Similarly, Arik Air which had earlier suspended flights to Monrovia and Freetown has been advised to maintain the cessation of flights until cleared by NCAA. 

Photo Credit: www.sodere.com

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

12 Comments

  1. Ginika

    July 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    This action is very welcomed!

  2. NaijaPikin

    July 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Alas govt is working. Oh the joy of seeing govt agencies do their jobs.

  3. Wale

    July 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Too little too late. They should have had contingency plans in place when the disease jumped to a second country four or five months ago. It is now they know Nigerian lives are precious. Se the lives of the northerners that BH is killing daily like ants is not precious abi? Something has hit too close to home for your elites, ko?

    • Shao

      July 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      What are you talking about?????????

  4. stefini

    July 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    yes it is a welcome development, but i just have one question,pls how is the ebola virus arriving Nigeria through a Liberian the fault of the airline?

    • Shao

      July 29, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Well u know how BA always sprays the plane with insecticide before taking off – those are measures to reduce the migration of anopheles Mosquitos into the UK. Hence airlines can take measures to make sure deadly diseases are not transported. Especially if your flying from an endemic region. It’s not just for the safety of the country your flying to but also for the crew members and other passengers.

    • Shadie

      July 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      @stefini, did you read the article at all before commenting.

  5. moimoi

    July 30, 2014 at 3:04 am

    what daft and stooppidd action!

  6. Iris

    July 30, 2014 at 3:35 am

    This is just silly. If they want to prevent flights into Nigeria for fear of bringing in ebola that’s a completely different thing, but this seems more like punitive action because the airline “allowed” Patrick Sawyer to get into Nigeria and that’s just BS. Wasn’t it only yesterday that Arik a NIGERIAN airline suspended operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone? Who’s to say last week Arik didn’t bring in someone carrying the virus but the person hasn’t started displaying symptoms yet? They’re trying to shift the blame for the country’s incompetence. If Nigeria had enforced screening and other measures to begin with would this have happened? Abeg. We’re always looking for scapegoats. A plane crashes and we think we can soothe all wounds by firing somebody. The only party responsible for this mess is NIGERIA.

    • Shao

      July 31, 2014 at 5:32 am

      The problem is the guy was sick on the plane going by claims he collapsed once off the plane. If you flying from an endermic region and you allow a passanger who is symptomatic displaying signs and symptoms of a fatal highly communicable disease, and there is that small but deadly chance that he is infected then it is your responsibility to protect other passengers.

      Yes I know Nigerians have the blame mentality but if this would keep other airlines on their feet then I like it!!! Imagine you were on that plane seated right beside mr sawyer, would you not appreciate an airline that would rather not let that happen?

  7. Idak

    July 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

    If the man did not die, would any of these have been done?
    We need to be more proactive and less reactive. Not just when it comes to looting.

  8. Bulus Wando

    July 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

    My comment ebola issue please and please our Nigeria security in the airport should do there work so that nigeria should be seva.

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