By Jimoh Babatunde & Daniel Eteghe
Government has been urged to sanction those responsible for the inability of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to complete the installation of Runway 18L Murtala Muhammed International Airport edge lights for two years.
A pressure group in the aviation industry, Aviation Round Table, in a chat with Aviation Journalists Thursday, disclosed that non-completion of the runway 18L had exposed lack of effective planning and execution of contracts in the aviation sub sector.
They argued that the failed contracts had continued to expose airlines and passengers to dangers, saying “ the government has to sanction those responsible for such merry go round in public service.”
The President of the body, Captain Dele Ore, said several air mishaps in Nigeria were weather-related, “yet since 2006 the Federal Government was advised to install 6 Dopper Weather Radar to cover our airspace.”
to enable NIMET give precise weather forcasts to airlines at airports and enroute segment of flights.”
He said for over six years , the airspace is yet to be covered by weather radars and flights do run into thunderstorm activities, turbulence and wind shear.
“Closure of Airports due to reduced visibility or flight delays in the 21st century is an aberration to economic development. NAMA and FAAN should as a matter of urgency install ILS Category IIIC at the major international airports to guarantee non commercial operations and to guarantee national security.”
Captain Dele Ore regretted that the Total Radar of Nigeria (TRACON) that was instituted in 1996 and contract signed in 2003 is yet to be completed with various challenges still facing the project.
“Technical staffs are insufficient, therefore, NAMA cannot run full 24 hours service at the radar stations. It will be recalled that the contract for this radar had been reviewed several times since it was signed with Thales of France in 2003.”
Meanwhile, the Director General Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demurin , has said that for the country to maintain the Category one status that there is need to ensure safety at our airports
Speaking Thursday, he said the country must continue to improve on infrastructural development,“no matter the automation you have, no matter the facility you have, human beings are going to drive it.“