*Says restriction doesn’t affect commercial flights flying over its airspace
The military government in Niger Republic has reiterated its ban on flights from Nigeria, insisting that flights emanating from Nigeria would not be allowed to land in Niger.
It, however, stated that the restriction does not affect commercial flights that fly over Nigerien airspace without landing there.
This was contained in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the country’s airspace management authority on February 6, 2024.
Nigeria had earlier issued a statement reinstating its earlier ban on flights to and from Niger in a NOTAM, stating that the action was taken as part of the ECOWAS resolution.
In the NOTAM issued by Niger Republic, the airspace authority stated that the country’s airspace “is opened to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited except for Nigerian flight to or from Nigeria.”
“This restriction doesn’t affect commercial flights that fly over Nigerien airspace without landing there. However, it is recalled that ADB-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) or Radar transponders (for surveillance and communication) must remain on for any flight taking place in the Niger Republic airspace.
“On the other hand, the Niger Republic Airspace still remains closed for all military, operational and other special flights. These military or special flights are only permitted subject to prior authorization from the competent authorities. This circular, which only concerns Niger and Nigeria does not repeal no NOTAM in force,” the circular stated.
Nigeria had three days ago issued a NOTAM reiterating the ban of flights from Niger or to Niger, saying that the decision was part of the ECOWAS resolution against the Niger Republic.
According to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the restriction included the directive that no commercial flight from Niger should overfly Nigerian airspace and no flight from any Nigerian state should overfly Niger’s airspace.
The NOTAM was contained in a letter titled: “ECOWAS Restriction on the Republic of Nigeria,” from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Aeronautical Information Services and signed by the Director of Air Traffic Services, Tayo John, on behalf of the agency’s Managing Director and Chief Executive.
The letter stated: “In accordance with 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 letter added: “These restrictions do not affect: (a) Overflight aircraft through Niger airspace; (b) Aircraft in a state of emergency and (c) Special flights.”
It directed further that “special flights are to obtain authorisation from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace.”
After the coup of July 26, 2023, that ousted its duly elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, and installed General Abdourrahamane Tchiani, ECOWAS issued resolutions against the country, which included the ban of flights to the West African nation.