Hadi Sirika, Nigeria Minister of Aviation, explained why social distancing is not observed in aircraft following the resumption of flights amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hadi Sirika who spoke 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, said the cabin is safer than any hospital theatre because of the purifying procedures air circulated within the cabin goes through.
Sirika added that the non-adherence to physical distancing was responsible for the ‘affordable’ ticket fare.
“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.”