Engr.Ibrahin Abdulsalam

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has intimated the nation that is having problem getting spare for the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) which cost the federal government E66,500,870(about N27,90,365,400)

Mr.Farouk Umar,the Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services made this while speaking at astakeholders forum organized by Nigerian Airspace Management Agency in Lagos.

He said all efforts to procure the spare from the manufacturer,Thales of France had proved futile,adding,that part of the agreement with the manufacturing company was the regular supply of spare for regular maintenance of the equipment.

The TRACON project which started in the 2003,during Dr.Kema Chikwe as the Minister of Aviation was commissioned in 2010 started experiencing constant break down since 2014.The facility is due for upgrade to meet challenges posed complex air traffic control.

Also speaking at the venue,Managing Director of NAMA,Capt.Fola Akinkuotu said the Agency had installed Very High Frequency(VHF) radios across 17 airports in Nigeria to enhance air safety and radio  communications between pilots and control towers within the Nigerian airspace.

Some of the airports that are equipped with the facilities,Akinkuotu said included,Owerri,Enugu,Kaduna,Ibadan,Katsina,Sokoto,Maiduguri,Akure,Asaba,Dutse,Akwa Ibom,Bauchi,Gombeand Clabar.

According to him,the installation of the equipment would in addition address the radio communications challenge in the system advising that all users of the Agency’s facilities to commit regularly their obligation to improve safety in the airspace.

The Managing Director told the gathering that the installation of VHF radios in the 17 airports for approach and aerodrome control was part of the short term approach of the current management of the Agency.

The NAMA boss revealed that his agency has installed navigational aids in over 12 airport locations.They are VHF Omni-directional Range and Distance Measuring Equipment(VOR/DME),Instrument Landing System(ILS)and Category 111ILS for Lagos and Abuja Airport which would be installed soon.

 “We are doing everything possible to keep it so. We are sure that the replacement and upgrade of this system will soon commence. In addition to this, significant works towards installation of Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) surveillance system for the Gulf of Guinea for surveillance and control of low level flights will commence in few weeks.

“The provision and maintenance of airspace infrastructure and the required personnel is expensive. I will appeal to the government to continue giving the necessary support to our drive to re-engineer the CNS/ATM facilities in NAMA within the shortest time possible and our customers to commit fully to their obligations to the agency at all times.”

The minister of state for aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika who was represented at occasion by Mr.Sabiu Zakari, said that the policy direction of the federal government is to provide the enabling environment for investment in sector.

Sirika  noted that a safe airspace for seamless connectivity and free flow of domestic, regional and international air traffic is essential for capital investment into any economy.