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Airspace agency acquires communication equipment for Lagos, Kano

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Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Calibrate navigational aids nationwide
To improve quality of air traffic services in the country, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has acquired new communication equipment and set to deploy same to Lagos and Kano areas.

The four stand-alone JOTRON high-powered, Very High Frequency (VHF) long range communication radios, will be installed in Lagos West, Lagos East, Kano West and Kano East Area Control Centres (ACCs).

Towards this end, the Agency has conducted a successful inspection and Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) of the equipment in Norway.

The exercise included physical inspection of the facilities and their technical specifications vis-a-vis the scope given by the agency. Also inspected was the sensitivity, selectivity, signal to noise ratio, power output as well as range covered by the radios .

Commenting on the Factory Acceptance Test, Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, expressed optimism that the new solution would not only offer options to controllers at any given point in time to discharge their duties efficiently and without hindrance but also reduce delays and controller workload.

Akinkuotu said: “This new backup communication solution designed by NAMA is aimed at addressing Remote Control Air to Ground (RCAG) communication challenges in the upper airspace (ACC). The four stand-alone radios by their design are totally independent and will not interface with any existing communication architecture already in use. With a range of over 260 nautical miles each, the radios would have sufficient overlapping of propagated signals to eliminate blind spots,” he said.

He recalled that the agency had earlier addressed aerodrome and approach communication challenges with the deployment of new 10 watt JOTRON communication radios covering up to 200 nautical miles “even when we require only 60-70 nautical miles range for aerodrome and approach and as it stands right now our aerodrome and approach radios are perfect.”

The beauty of this new backup technology, he added, is that it can be used in case of satellite failure, maintenance of satellite or degradation of satellite integrity.

In a related development, NAMA has embarked on the routine calibration of navigational aids at airports and en-route stations across Nigeria.

The flight calibration, which is being handled by Omni-Blue Aviation Ltd along with their technical partners, Fight Calibration Services Ltd (FCSL) of United Kingdom, and NAMA engineers, will involve the calibration of the agency’s Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Very High Omni-Directional Radio Range (VOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Path Approach Precision Indicators (PAPI), and Communication Radio Coverage across the nation.

The exercise will also involve the flight commissioning of a newly installed Instrument Landing System and Distance Measuring Equipment.

Commenting on the calibration exercise, the Chief Flight Inspector of FCSL, Nick Whitehouse, said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), has requirements for landing systems and that the signaling space must be suitable for the aircraft to lock on.

Whitehouse added that their mission was to measure these navigational aids through specific flight profiles to ensure the accuracy and precision of signals to airspace users.

The calibration team began in Owerri and has so far covered Enugu, Calabar, Ilorin and Lagos. It is expected to proceed to other parts of Nigeria in the coming days.


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Fola AkinkuotuICAONAMA
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