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NAMA, Ghana CAA sign cross border search and rescue agreement

Lagos – The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for effective synergy and collaborative cross border search and rescue.

The Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, confirmed the development in a press statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.

L – R: Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; DG Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman; MD, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu; MD Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma; and Manager, Benin Airport, Olatokunbo Arewa during the visit to the Benin Airport on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Akinkuotu said the MoU was signed recently at NAMA’s corporate headquarters in Lagos with a high-powered team of GCAA officials.

He said the MoU would help to address issues arising from the flow of air traffic among adjacent Flight Information Regions (FIRs).

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According to him, it stipulates guidelines and procedures for collaboration on aircraft and weather/ terrain information sharing, deployment of manpower as well as search-and- rescue equipment in the event of an incident or accident.

He said NAMA also signed Letters of Agreement with the visiting Ghanaian team specifying procedures to be followed for tactical separation of aircraft between Lagos and Accra.

Akinkuotu said: ” Stipulated in the Letters of Agreement are details such as how air traffic controllers can exchange or manage the movement of aircraft across the two centres in terms of radio frequencies.

“It also deals with the point at which to transfer aircraft as well as establishes boundaries and altitude for transfer of aircraft across the common borders.”

He added that the letters of agreement also contained the procedures for handling emergencies, transfer of aircraft using technical systems such as Controller Pilot Data Link (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADSC).

“The agreement also addresses standard separation between aircraft compliant with that of the adjacent state,” he said.

He said the two states also discussed the possibility of a partnership which would enable NAMA to undertake the training of some of its operational personnel at the Ghana Civil Aviation Academy by virtue of its affiliation with renowned training institutions globally.

The NAMA boss added that they also deliberated on the need for both states to share information on air navigation plans.

He said that this would ensure compatibility and interoperability of Air Traffic Management Systems to be deployed by each state.

He said as a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the meeting with Ghana was critical as it would enhance operational synergy and seamlessness.

Akinkuotu said it would also make for less gaps in air traffic management between the two adjacent states.

The NAMA boss while calling for sustained interaction and cooperation between Ghana and Nigeria, said the agency would continue to explore ways to further ensure safety of air navigation within the region. (NAN)

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