Preparatory to the commissioning of the Kano Safe Tower Project, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency on Monday successfully conducted a Site Acceptance Test (SAT) of the installed equipment at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. The Site Acceptance Test which is conducted using a Test Procedure Book is intended to ascertain conformance with all stated and specified functions of the equipment within environmental tolerance.

Speaking at the event in Kano, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam who used the occasion to declare open a four-day Awareness Training on the (ADS-C/CPDLC)Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication project also to be commissioned soon, described these two projects as strategic in the agency’s effort to transform air traffic management services in the country.

He listed the benefits of the Kano Safe Tower project when operational to includeuse of electronic or paperless flight progress strips by air traffic controllers; effective and efficient flight planning; reduction in ATC workload; availability of a Radar Monitoring System for enhanced Air traffic situation awareness; automated data storage for effective billing; availability of meteorological information online and real time; vertical wind shear alerting system among others.

Engr. Abdulsalam also enumerated the benefits of the ADS-C/CPDLC when commissioned to include extended range communication that would ensure effective ATM delivery within the Nigerian airspace; reduced ATC and Pilot workload; enhanced safety through accuracy and efficiency in communication between ATC and flight crew; reduction in flight delays, flight times, fuel burnt and C02 emissions; provision of cost effective surveillance and data communication; elimination of  air – ground communication blind spots within the airspace and the provision of effective coverage over the oceanic airspace.

Also speaking, Mr Georg Eder, Managing Director of Avsatel Communications Limited, Project Contractors, expressed confidence that Nigerian airspace would experience the needed transformation in its flight operations with the quality of equipment deployed by his company which he described as “world class”.

It will be recalled that the Safe Tower Project which was conceived since 2006 was aimed at automating air traffic management services at the four major airports in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano. While others have since been commissioned, that of Kano suffered a series of setbacks, leading to the rebuilding of a completely new safe tower for Kano airport.

The successful conduct of the Site Acceptance Test which is the last leg of activities culminating in the eventual launch  of the  Kano Safe Tower  projectis therefore significant asone of the bold steps taken by NAMA to continue to deploy new technologies in air traffic management for  the Nigerian airspace.