The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello has expressed great satisfaction over the high technical capacity of the completed Kano Safe tOWER Project at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano.
Hajia Bello who was at the airport for the final inspection of the completed Digital Safe Tower ahead of its commissioning also commended the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), for ensuring that the project was delivered promptly in keeping with the agreed timelines, stressing that the effort of the agency in maintaining safety of air navigation in Nigeria would be boosted by the sophisticated standard of the facility.
“This is very encouraging. I am highly impressed that the facility has been delivered within the period agreed with the ministry and I am happy to say that we have achieved what we bargained for within the scheduled time…other project managers should emulate this one. They have delivered a good job and on time too,” the Permanent Secretary said. Hajia Bello who observed Air Traffic Controllers as they controlled traffic live, using the facility was particularly thrilled that the entire process was purely digital and simple, without the use of paper strips as was the case with the old tower.
In his remarks at the event, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr Ibrahim Abdulsalam, who led the Permanent Secretary on the inspection tour along with CEOs of FAAN and NIMET informed Hajia Bello that Nigeria is one of the first few countries in Africa to procure and deploy the Digital Safe Tower and that it ranks among the latest technologies in global Air Traffic Management.
The Permanent Secretary also inspected the Safe Tower Equipment Room where digital transmission signals are received and processed for use by the control tower as well as the NIMET Forecast Office within the tower complex where weather observation and forecast is done.
Hajis Bello also took time out to inspect the progress of work at the new Kano Airport Terminal under construction which is financed by the Chinese Exim Bank.
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 digital safe tower for Kano airport.
Meanwhile NAMA has successfully trained another batch of 16 Air Traffic Controllers in Area Airways Non-Radar course at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
This is in line with keeping its determination to continuously strengthen capacity of personnel in the critical area of operations.
The three-month course which began in June and ended in August 2015 had participants drawn from airports across the country and was titled ACC 34, the non-radar training is designed to equip Air Traffic Controllers with the ability to control traffic procedurally in the event of radar failure. The Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, who was represented at the graduation in Zaria by the Director of Operations, Mr Uzoma-fyneboy congratulated the course participants for “studying hard to achieve success in flying colours.”
Engr. Abdulsalam in a statement maintained that NAMA would “continue to give priority to training and retraining of staff especially in operations to effectively man the sophisticated air traffic management infrastructure deployed by the agency.”
It will be recalled that a total of 40 Air Traffic Controllers had early this year been rated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) while 12 ATC Cadets graduated from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology and proceeded for on-the-job training, just as another 17 Air Traffic Engineers graduated from the same institution after undergoing a three-month course designed to equip them in handling CNS/ATM as well as ICT equipment of the agency.