The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has raised an alarm warning airline operators of both regional and international flights, to be sensitive on the possible resurgence of Ebola Virus Disease through airlines.
This alarm is coming after the deadly disease has been declared by the World Health Organisation as a subject of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The NCAA therefore in line with this declaration called on the airline operators to exercise and maintain a high degree of caution and be sensitive to prevent an outbreak of this disease.
The caveat is contained in a letter signed by the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, issued to all airline operators in the country.
The NCAA directed that in any suspected case of a communicable disease, aircrew on board are required by regulation to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms, after which completed forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome.
It was contained in the letter that airline Pilots in Command (PIC) are now directed in line with the Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS188.8.131.52) to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) in any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
The NCAA also issued direction to operators to contact the PHS for issuance of clearance before bringing-in human remains into the country in the case of the death of a patient.
The letter read “Airlines are to report to NCAA in writing in any suspected case of communicable disease on board any flight.”
Moreover, airline have also been advised to ensure they have on board, “valid and appropriate number of First Aid Kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs) and Emergency Medical Kits in line with Nig.CARS 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11”
Airline operators were further urged to refresh the knowledge of their Crew members (flight desks and cabin crew) for enhanced proficiency in handling communication with ATC in any suspected case of communicable disease on board.