February 6, 2024: The Federal Government has extended the suspension of commercial flights between the Niger Republic and Nigeria, as well as flights over Nigerian airspace bound for Niger, in accordance with a resolution by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
This decision, stemming from ECOWAS’s response to the political upheaval in the Niger Republic on July 26, 2023, when President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a coup, was formalised in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on February 2, 2024.
The letter, titled “ECOWAS Restriction on the Republic of Nigeria,” signed by Tayo John, the Director of Air Traffic Services at NAMA, on behalf of the agency’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, outlined the directive.
It stated, “By ECOWAS resolutions, all commercial flights from Niger to Nigeria, or from Nigeria to Niger, or from Niger overflying Nigeria, or any state overflying Nigeria to Niger are suspended.”
However, the suspension does not apply to certain categories of flights, including overflight aircraft passing through Niger airspace, flights in a state of emergency, and special flights. Special flights are required to obtain authorization from the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace.
The directive underscores the Federal Government’s adherence to ECOWAS resolutions and its commitment to ensuring regional stability in the face of political unrest in neighbouring countries.