NAMA installs communication equipment in Abuja, Kano

Safety and communications within the Nigerian airspace has further been improved with the installation of Extended Very High Frequency Radio systems in several Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA’s stations across the country.

The equipment, which is to boost air to ground communication, has been installed in some northern stations including Abuja and Kano, while that of the Lagos center is to take off in a week’s time.

Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Lawrence Pwajok, told visiting legislators that with the installation, hitherto blind spots in the country’s airspace would be covered while safety and security in the air and on ground would further be enhanced.

Pwajok explained that NAMA has a Category III system in Lagos and Abuja airports, which could make aircraft land in zero visibility weather conditions.

However, for the equipment to be functional, other navigation equipment provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) like the airfield lighting must be upgraded to the Category III status, while aircraft and pilots must also be in compliance.

He also said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) must certify the equipment, aircraft and pilots for that purpose.

The NAMA boss said: “In Lagos and Abuja airports, we are on Category III status. With this, aircraft can have zero visibility landing on the two airports. However, NAMA is also planning to upgrade the lighting system to Category III. The moment this is done, airlines can land with zero visibility at the two airports.”

Pwajok further stated that the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), which was installed in 2010 needed upgrade as most of its software have become obsolete.

According to him, since the contract for the maintenance of the radar expired in 2014, the contract had not been renewed, saying that there was the need to have an improved system to further improve safety in the country.

Reacting, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation promised that the National Assembly would make provision for the upgrade of the radar.

Also, Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N), said that the bureau planned to open an emergency mobile satellite office with all the paraphilia of a real office.

According to him, this would help the investigators to create a mobile office at the crash site and download the Flight Data Recorder (FDR0 and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) right at the crash site without having to delay the process.

Olateru explained that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the contract for the award of the project, adding that the procurement process had also commenced, while delivery is being awaited from the contractor.

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