After Nigerians condemned the non-observance of social distancing in aircrafts, following the resumption of flights amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika stated that the reason social distancing is not observed in aircraft is that the environment of an aircraft is safer and hygenic.
According to IgbereTV reports, the Minister spoke to reporters as he embarked on a simulation return flight to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano to assess the preparation of the airport for resumption of flights. He said the cabin is safer than any hospital theatre because of the purifying procedures air circulated within the cabin goes through.
Sirika said that the if social distancing is observed in aircraft, the air tickets will not be affordable to many Nigerians. He said “Because of the nature of the airplane, the airplane is hygienic enough once you have your mask, you are safe to remain seated on your seat and where possible, we will keep the distance. Airplanes are designed in such a way that the ambient air at altitudes is clean. It is not contaminated. The air is dropped in the aircrafts, pressurised and because of pressurization, the temperature of the air goes up to 200 degrees which is twice boiling water and there is no bacteria or virus that can survive it and it is suddenly cooled to about 2 degrees centigrate and then it is passed to a filter.
“Passing through the filtration system ensures that every single organism is screened and then it is passed to the cabin and once it is passed through the cabin, it comes from the ceiling downwards. So, it is not coming from the cockpit to the rear, it is from the ceiling downwards and it drops on the floor and gets circulated.”
“With this mechanism in place, everything will be safe provided that we are decontaminating the airplane before we enter and decontaminating after we leave and also cleaning all the possible surfaces that one will touch.”