By Lawani Mikairu
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA yesterday reacted to the call by Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, that the navigational aids at all the country’s airports needed to be functional and upgraded as they are obsolete.
According to the operators, the incessant flight delays and cancellations during harmattan was due to the obsolete nature of the navigational aids.
The Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Emma Anasi said the current navigational aids at all the airports are constantly been upgraded and appealed to the airline owners to also upgrade the landing facilities in their aircraft.
The NAMA MD said: “The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has observed with sincere concern the challenges and difficulties airlines and the travelling public have been subjected to over the past few days as a result of reduced flight visibility occasioned by the prevailing harmattan dust haze that has limited operations into most airports.”
“While the Agency is not unmindful of the economic losses to airlines, passengers and other airport stakeholders, the Agency is however primarily required to ensure safety of lives and properties by ensuring that all flight operations are in compliance with minimum state weather conditions as published by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for each airport. Nigerian Airspace Management Agency had earlier taken appropriate measures to ensure the availability and reliability of air navigation facilities at all airports.”
“In addition, the Agency in October 2015 implemented and published Performance Based Navigation (PBN) flight procedures for the guidance of aircraft into and out of 16 domestic airports in addition to similar procedures implemented at Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt in 2012.The Agency wish to use this opportunity to encourage Nigerian airline operators to equip their fleets and take advantage of these new PBN flight procedures, as well as other satellite based navigation systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) and Controller Pilot Data”
“Link Communication Systems that were implemented in 2015, with increased level of safety, accuracy, reliability, integrity, availability and continuity of service. Furthermore, while the current severe weather conditions are expected to improve within the next few days, NAMA in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation has embarked on the upgrading of existing facilities, as well as the deployment of new communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management systems that will further enhance capacity as well as safety, efficiency and economy of flight operations”.
“NAMA wish to state that flight operations in the year 2016 have been relatively very safe following significant investments made in the development of safety critical infrastructure and manpower. The Agency wish to reassure all Nigerians that all efforts are been made to ensure more efficient and safe air navigation service delivery in the year 2017. Finally, while NAMA sincerely sympathises with all Nigerians who have suffered losses or inconveniences as a result of flight delays/cancellations, the Agency however wish all Nigerians, the travelling public, airlines, sister agencies, and other stakeholders, a safe and Happy New Year ahead,“ Engr Anasi concluded.