Nigeria May Get CAT1 Status This Year

Nigerian airlines could be allowed to fly their own planes to the United States by the end of the year following improvements in aviation security in the West African nation, U.S. and Nigerian officials said on Wednesday.

“Category 1 would allow Nigerian carriers to fly directly to the U.S. using their own aircraft and crews, establish new routes and frequencies, and add additional aircraft,” Robin Sanders, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, told a news conference.

“You’ve achieved and crossed … major hurdles on the positive path to Category 1 status, which I hope with my team that you will be able to achieve some time between now and the end of the year,” she said.

Meanwhile, the body scanners bought for Nigeria’s international airports in the wake of a Christmas Day bomb attempt remain unused months later, though U.S. air marshals now protect flights coming into the West African nation.

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