Lagos – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed all pilots flying within the country’s airspace to report any form of communicable disease onboard their flights to Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) on duty.
NCAA in a statement by Mr. Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Affairs said that this was necessary in order to curb the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which is ravaging the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Adurogboye called for a high-level vigilance by the airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country.
The statement hinted that in case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew is to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 respectively.
He explained that the Completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome by the pilot in command.
According to him, this was contained in a circular with ref no. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated May 11, 2018, sent to all operating airlines.
He, however, observed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC) was yet to declare the outbreak in the country, but noted NCAA and other relevant agencies would not take chances.
He added: “Notwithstanding, the NCAA, Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have been taken concerted steps to ensure the virus does not creep into Nigeria.
“Therefore, to forestall the EVD infiltration, the regulatory authority has therefore directed all airlines to carry out these measures in the interim.
“Pilots-in-Command of an aircraft is to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight in line with Nig.CARs 22.214.171.124.”
He added that airlines should ensure they had onboard a valid and appropriate number of first aid kits, universal precaution kits and emergency medical kits in line with Nig. CARs 126.96.36.199.
He declared that operators are also to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in the handling and communicating with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board and contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
The operators, he emphasized, are to report to the agency in writing of any suspected case of the communicable disease in flight.
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