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Cameroon: Suspension of flights to the Douala International Airport takes effect

The Douala International Airport have suspended flights for over twenty-one days due to ongoing rehabilitation works. The Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport is now a massive theatre of air traffic – the lone entry and exit route from Cameroon. This is sequel to the commencement of modernization works at the Douala International Airport with the runway, aircraft taxiways and aprons expected to be refurbished as well as the passenger terminal to be renovated and restructured. 

Government sources have maintained all management and operational staff are ensuring that their operations are successful as regard safety and security. In the main hall of the airport, some 150 staff transferred from the Douala International Airport for the three-week exercise were spotted sorting out last-minute operational guidelines. The office attendants of the Director of the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority where batches are issued and staff of airline companies who are temporarily lodged at the airport have finalised preparatory tasks.

Temporary offices set up for airline companies in the main hall and at the East wing of the tarmac have gradually been taken up by their occupants. Meanwhile, technical, logistical and managerial aspects have already been handled, with the Cameroon Airports Company, ADC,claiming it is coping with the heavy traffic. The Director of the Airport, Thierry Nkodo revealed that apart from Arik Air and Taag Angola Airlines that decided to suspend their flights during the three-week re-routing to Yaounde, the other airline companies operating in Cameroon have confirmed their flight schedules. The hitherto near-idle Nsimalen-Yaounde Airport is witnessing a pretty different scenario since it went operational in October 1994. Traffic flow has more than double, with close to 20 aircrafts, as against 10, arriving and departing everyday. It has been busy flight schedule with the first flights that landed in the wee hours of March 1.

The management of the airport have insisted on safety and security measures. A safety and security assessement impact carried out identified vulnerable areas that have since received reinforcement. All safety and security threat indices at the Douala International Airport have been transferred to the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport, said Thierry Nkodo. Measures to limit any threats have been put in place with access to some parts of the airport strictly forbidden. Passengers have been invited to scale down their accompanying delegations.

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