NAMA Moves To Cover Blind Spots In The Nigerian Airspace
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says it intends to cover blind spots in the country’s airspace and enhance safety and security in the air and on ground with the installation of Extended Very High Frequency Radio system in several of its stations across the country.
NAMA’s Acting Managing Director, Engr. Lawrence Pwajok, who stated this in Lagos during the oversight visit of the joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation, said 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 soon.
Besides, Pwajok explained that NAMA has Category III system in Lagos and Abuja airports, which could make aircraft land in zero visibility weather condition. He however added 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 upgrade as most of its software have 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, Senator Smart Adeyemi, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation promised that the National Assembly would make provision for the upgrade of the radar.