Multilateral surveillance project 90% ready, NAMA assures
Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said the ongoing Multilateration Technology (MLAT) surveillance project in the Niger Delta region is 90 per cent ready.
NAMA Managing Director, Tayib Odunowo, gave the update on the sideline of the 27th League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Conference in Lagos recently.
The MLAT is a proven technology that has been in use for many decades in both navigation and surveillance applications to track aircraft at any location. With the deployment, all flying objects in the Niger Delta area will become traceable.
The agency recently installed an equipment known as Wide Area Multilateration in Port Harcourt for low flying aircraft in the Gulf of Guinea. The project was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2018.
Odunowo said the agency was on course to complete the project in a couple of months, adding that plans were on to also replicate the same infrastructure nationwide.
He said: “Presently, the multilateration system is 90 per cent completed. It is basically concentrated more in the Delta. That region is the busiest airspace right now in Nigeria.
“If you look at the proximity of all the airports, you have all these low flying objects. What NAMA is trying to do is to make sure that anything that flies in the Delta region is picked by the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS).
“But right now, we intend to deploy Multilateration Technology all over Nigeria, starting with the Delta region. Don’t forget, even in foreign countries, MLAT kind of superimposes your regular radar. So, they work together.”
Odunowo said the equipment would help the agency in carrying out monitoring, control and surveillance of both the manned and unmanned aircraft in the Niger Delta region.
He added that the system also made provision for capturing of low-level flying helicopters in the Gulf of Guinea, especially as their activities increased in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria.
Odunowo said it had also incorporated the Unmanned-aircraft Traffic Management System (UTM system) otherwise known as remotely piloted aircraft systems.
According to him, the equipment can monitor drones and control them within the entire Niger Delta region.He added in bridging the gap within the upper airspace, it had taken a three-pronged approach. “We are starting with rolling out nine solar-powered transmitters, then deploying manpower and forging ahead with its AIS automation project.
“The ongoing AIS automation project is the backbone of everything, and before the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Audit, all five international airports in Nigeria will be operational,” Odunowo said.
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