Lack of spare parts grounds N27.9b radar facility

By Wole Oyebade |   12 September 2018   |   3:00 am  

Managing director Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) yesterday disclosed that the lack of spare parts to fix the N27.9 billion worth of Total Radar Coverage (TRACON) equipment has grounded the facility.

NAMA said the critical facility, which had been in operation in the last eight years, had been starved of supplies, contrary to agreements signed with the manufacturer, Thales of France.

The TRACON project, which started in 2003, was completed in 2010 at a whopping 66,500,870 euros (about N27.9 billion) paid by the Federal Government.

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Speaking yesterday at the stakeholders’ interactive forum organised NAMA, its director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, Engr. Farouk Umar, said that all efforts to source spares from the manufacturer for the replacement of bad ones proved abortive.

Umar lamented that the situation had been like that since 2014, four years after the project came on stream.

He disclosed that the agency had been operating the equipment without spares, adding that the facility was also due for upgrade.

The director, however, urged the Federal Government to prevail on Thales to adhere to the terms of contract with Nigeria.

Managing director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, had earlier said that in a bid to enhance air safety and radio communications between pilots and control towers within the country’s airspace, NAMA installed Very High Frequency (VHF) radios across 17 airports in Nigeria.

Owerri, Enugu, Kaduna, Ibadan, Katsina, Sokoto, Maiduguri and Akure.

Others are Asaba, Dutse, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Gombe and Calabar airports are some of those equipped with the facility.

Akinkuotu said the installation of VHF radios in 17 airports for approach and aerodrome control was part of the short term approach of the current management in the agency.

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