The military government in Niger Republic has restated its ban on flights from Nigeria, stating that flights from Nigeria would not be allowed to land in Niger.
This new notice was announced by the country’s airspace management body in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) dated February 6, 2024. Commercial aircraft that cross Nigerien airspace without making a landing are exempt from the prohibition.
“The airspace of the Republic of Niger is open to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited except for Nigerian flights to or from Nigeria,” the statement read.
“These restrictions don’t affect commercial flights that fly over Nigerien airspace without landing there. However, it is recalled that ADS-B and/or RADAR transponders must remain on for any flight taking place in the Niger Republic airspace,” the statement added.
“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.”
Three days ago, Nigeria had also 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), no commercial flight from Niger should enter 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 NAMA Aeronautical Information Services and signed by Director of Air Traffic Services, Tayo John, on behalf of the agency’s Managing Director and chief executive.
In January this year, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, the three military-led African countries announced their immediate withdrawal from the regional bloc ECOWAS, accusing the body of becoming a threat to its members.
A joint statement issued by the three countries said they “decide in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal” from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
ECOWAS reacted by suspending all three countries and imposing heavy sanctions on Niger and Mali.
Niger later tried to amend ties with ECOWAS by inviting its representatives to the capital Niamey, but only representation from Togo showed up.
The banning of flights is just part of a series of sanctions that may come following the exit of the three military-led countries.
The Accra Times’ Eugene Brown Agyei contributed to this report.