All Nigerian flights banned from Republic of Niger’s airspace

All Nigerian flights banned from Republic of Niger’s airspace

The silent war between the federal government of Nigeria and that of Niger Republic is getting deeper as the government of the Francophone African country has singled out all flights from Nigeria for total ban from its airspace.

The ban which was contained in circular issued by the Bureau Notam International De L’Quest African to its agencies with reference number: NR 16/A/24GO, dated February 6th, 2024, with the headline: ‘Restriction of Flights to and from Nigeria,’  specified that while its airspace remained opened to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited such privilege did not include flights into or out of Nigeria.

The latest action from the Niger Republic government may have been a reaction towards an earlier ban on flights between the Francophone country and Nigeria following the overthrow of the civilian government of the country by a military junta.

While the federal government explained that the restrictions has not affected flights that fly over the Niger Republican airspace without landing in Nigeria, it however maintained that Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) and/or radar transponders must remain on any flight taking place in the Niger Republic airspace.

The agency of Nigerian government responsible for coordinating flights into and out of Nigeria’s airspace, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), had recently reiterated the ban on flights between Nigeria and the Republic of Nigeria.

NAMA had in a statement issued, clarified that authorised exemptions to the ban on Niger include over-flight aircraft traversing Nigerian airspace, aircraft in a state of emergency, and special flights.

The hitherto cordial relationship between the two countries went sour when the military junta from the Republic of Nigeria toppled the civilian government of President Mohammed Bazoum in a coup d’etat.

In a swift response the governments of the countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a body coincidentally having Nigerian President BolaAhmed Tinubu as its Chairman, at a meeting unanimously agreed to closed land borders with the Niger Republic and declared it a “No-Fly Zone.”

Other resolutions adopted by the ECOWAS during the emergency meeting included: the closure of ECOWAS member states’ land and air borders with Niger, along with the establishment of a no-fly zone for all commercial flights to and from Niger.

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