By Chris Ochayi
In spite of few challengesÂ Â being experienced in the aviation industry in the recent times, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has recorded tremendous increases in aircraft and passenger movements in the first half of this year.
Abuja Airspace Manager, Mr. Maculay Onyeneke, who disclosed this in Abuja during the inspection tour of the airporâ€s facilities by the Governing Board of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said the growth in traffic has exerted more pressures on the workers.
Mr. Onyeneke, who puts the figure of passenger movement at the airport at 1, 459,152 between January and June 2009, said the development demanded more efforts and determination by the workers to be able to cope with the challenge.
He said:Â Â â€œAircraft movement at the airport was 42,516 in 2007, 46,648 in 2008, and between January and June 2009, passenger movement was 2,219,016 in 2007, 2,746,359 in 2008 and 1,459,152 between January and June 2009â€.
He explained that â€œall these show a percentage increase of 10% in air traffic and 24% in passenger movements between 2007 and 2008 and from the figures obtained at the end of June 2009, (26,949), there is a greater increase in ratio for the yearâ€.
He said the station has continued to provide safe, efficient and expeditious air traffic services around Abuja in conformity with the mandate and mission of NAMA.
According to him, â€œthe airport has the following navigational aids, ILS â€œIACâ€ Runway 04 frequency 111.9 MHZ CH56, Alcatel VOR/DME â€œABCâ€ frequency 116.3 MHZ CH 110X and locator beacon â€œAGâ€ on 321KHZ. All are transmitting of two complete channels eachâ€.
He added that â€œthere is Terminal Approach Radar Selenia type and now there is TRACON unit by Thales of France. The control tower is part of the Safe Tower project and is very modernâ€.
Onyeneke further explained the station was happily covered by satellite reception and WGS 84 survey and was now ready for GNSS approaches.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NAMA Governing Board, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, warned the agency not to allow the high quality equipment procured by the federal government at the airport to rot away.
He noted that one of the biggest challenges facing the country, as a nation today, was the lack of maintenance culture.
â€œWe will not allow these equipment to rot away this time around,â€ warned Baraje, who is also PDPâ€™s National Secretary.
To this end, Baraje promised that the staff of the agency would under go series of training to enable them put the equipment into good use.
â€œWe are going to build the capacity of staff of the agency through regular training to enable them to effectively carry out maintenance on the equipmentâ€, he said.