…Says it’s coverage expands beyond Africa
By Emmanuel Elebeke
President Mohammdu Buhari has appealed to African nations to utilise the Nigerian Communications Satellite 1R for aviation and other areas of need.
President Buhari made the appeal on Thursday while declaring open a workshop on Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) implementation in Aviation in Africa.
The SBAS demonstration flights was undertaken by NIGCOMSAT ltd, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and ANGA on February 1st using NAMA’s Beechcraft King Air 350i.
The event was co-hosted by the Federal ministry of aviation and its parastatals, and also the ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by NAMA, NCAA, NIGCOMSAT in conjunction with international partners such like joint Programme office Satellite Navigation office for Africa, European Action on Space, Augmented Navigation for Africa.
The President who was represented by the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami said the satellite is currently operational and functional and covers the whole of Africa, and part of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, as well as part of Asia and Europe.
According to him, the satellite the NIGCOMSAT1R has the capacity to support the implementation of the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa with 54 countries and urged African nations to consider the Nigerian Communication Satellite when the need arises.
‘‘The Nigerian Communications Satellite 1R is a federal government investment, which is a hybrid satellite can provide navigation overlay service. The satellite is operational and functional, it covers the whole of Africa, which is a minim um of 3,370,000 km, from North to South, 8,000kms, from east to west around7400km.
‘‘In addition to that, the satellite covers part of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, it covers parts of Asia and Europe. Our satellite here in Nigeria has the capacity to provide the navigation overlay services.
‘‘The Nigerian Communications Satellite has the capacity to support the implementation of the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa with 54 countries, urged African nations to consider the Nigerian Communication Satellite when the need arises.
‘‘The deployment of SBAS by using the navigation overlay services will significantly improve accuracy of signal, its availability and integrity.
‘‘This shows that communication and digital technology is the key enablers of all other sectors as of security, defence, health, Agriculture, education and the aviation sectors depend on digital technology,’’ he said.
The minister, however, directed the NIGCOMSAT to collaborate and reach out to the aviation sector to ensure successful implementation of SBAS in Africa.
In his remarks, the minister of aviation, Hadika Sirika said
Earlier, the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Engr. Tukur Lawal said for NIGCOMSAT to be where it should be, the agency it cannot remain it it at the moment.
He however, pledged that the organization would give all the neded support to the partnership with the aviation sector to ensure the sucees of the effort.
‘‘We are here in Abuja, Nigeria to demonstrate the benefits of the future operational safety-of-life SBAS services, which is expected to be fully operational soon to aviation and non-aviation stakeholders with disruptive applications.
‘‘The Nigerian Communications Satellite 1R (NigComSat1R) has L-Band transponders (L1 and L5) onboard meant to provide navigation overlay (NOS) in Africa and beyond. This is Africa s first contribution to Global Navigation Satellite.
‘‘We will continue to do all that is required to demonstrate and showcase the capabilities of SBAS not only in Aviation sector but also non-Aviation sectors to drum up the required collective resources by stakeholders to adopt SBAS for its many benefits and applications on a continental scale.
‘‘This is in line with policy direction of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy for value addition and propensity not only in the Telecommunications Sector but Aviation, Maritime, Rail Transport, Precision Agriculture, Survey, Oil & Gas and Mass-Market Applications for sustainable development beyond Nigerian shores.’’
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