From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The yearning for the deployment of latest communication, navigation and surveillance equipment across Nigerian airports by pilots and other users will soon come to past as the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has revealed plans to embark on aggressive deployment of communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) infrastructure in the next one year to further boost the safety of air travel in the country.
Part of the new approach to improve the infrastructure will see the installation of Category 3A Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at the Lagos and Abuja Airports, the agency disclosed.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a category III A approach is a precision instrument approach and landing with no decision height or a decision height lower than 100ft (30m) and a runway visual range not less than 700ft (200m).
Managing Director of NAMA Capt. Fola Akinkuotu who made the disclosure at an interactive session with airports correspondents tagged ‘Gateway Forum’ said the deployment of the hi-tech navigational equipment would ensure that aircraft can land in zero-zero visibility given the adverse weather at certain times within the year.
Capt. Akinkuotu who recently clocked one year in the saddle listed some of his achievements to include installation of communication radios in strategic areas in the country as well as upgrade of existing ones, deployment of ILS and other navigational aids across the country.
He also revealed that a brand new ILS and a Doppler Very High Frequency Omni directional Range (DVOR) have been installed and calibrated in Kano.
Other areas of progress according to the NAMA boss include improvement in Air Traffic Control (ATC) capacity through training and retraining of critical personnel and others, addressing depleting ATC manpower, enhanced staff welfare through implementation of harmonization of salaries and the signing of new condition of service which is awaiting approval by government.
On critical projects to be embarked upon by his administration in the next one year, Akinkuotu said although the issue of Aeronautical Information Services Automation by the agency has dragged on since 2009, his administration was determined to see to its completion so that NAMA can migrate to Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) in view of all the deliverables that would accrue to the agency.
Also to be given attention is the upgrade of TRACON system and communication radios while another set of ILS and DVOR will be installed in Maiduguri, Jos, Minna and other airports and plan to commence the installation of multilateration equipment recently approved by government to capture and provide guidance to low-flying aircraft at the Gulf of Guinea.