The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), is set to ensure improved safety in the Nigerian aviation industry with the installation of an Extended Very High-Frequency Radio system in several of its stations across the country.
With the installation of the equipment, NAMA said that blind spots in the country’s airspace would be covered while safety and security in the air and on the ground would further be enhanced.
Engr. Lawrence Pwajok, the Acting Managing Director, NAMA disclosed this last week at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos during the oversight visit of the joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation.
According to Pwajok, the equipment, which is to boost air to ground communication, is already installed in some northern stations of the country including Abuja and Kano, while that of the Lagos centre would be installed in the next week.
Besides, Pwajok explained that NAMA has Category III system in Lagos and Abuja airports, which could make aircraft land in zero visibility weather conditions.
But, said that 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.
He 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 an upgrade as most of its software has become obsolete.
According to him, since the contract for the maintenance of the radar elapsed 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 of, Senate Committee on Aviation, promised that the National Assembly would make provision for the upgrade of the radar.
Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N), also 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.