Aviation sector closes gaps ahead of 2023 ICAO safety audit

Ahead of next year’s audit of Nigeria’s aviation industry by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Lawrence Pwajok stated that the country was working tirelessly to ensure that it closes all safety gaps.

The NAMA made the disclosure at the weekend at an interaction session with journalists in Lagos.

The apex global aviation regulatory body’s audit is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2023 and it is usually the top priority of entire agencies of aviation including NAMA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

NAMA logo

The forthcoming ICAO safety audit known as the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) involves the effective implementation of critical safety elements by the country’s civil aviation authority.

The USOAP audit is an activity during which ICAO assesses the effective implementation of the critical elements (CEs) of a safety oversight system and conducts a systematic and objective review of a State’s safety oversight system to verify the status of its compliance with the provisions of the ICAO Convention.

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This is aimed at ensuring that flight operations are safe and in accordance with global standards.

It would be recalled that in the last ICAO Security Audit (USOAP-CMA) of Nigeria – the Effective Implementation (EI), Nigeria Scored 96.4 percent and the country received ICAO Council President Award Certificate for its performance.

 Pwajok stated that “The purpose of the audit was to ensure that we closed all the gaps and the last audit was in 2016. We are working hard to ensure Nigeria passed the ICAO audit”.

The NAMA chief further disclosed that they were also embarking on training for manpower development and are taking care of all the agency’s pensioners so that their outstanding being owed for years is paid.

 “We have settled 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. We want to see that our workers that were retired were adequately taken care of. We are also embarking on manpower training because if you deployed new equipment and you don’t train them, our objective won’t be achieved our staff is motivated and our working environment is conducive”.

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Recently, we received approval for consequential allowance and conditions of service. We are grateful to the government for ensuring that staff welfare was taken care of. Recently, we received approval for consequential allowance and conditions of service”.

He reiterated that as new airports come on stream, new en-routes connecting them are created, adding that they were not part of the initial communication network, therefore creating a few gaps here and there, stressing that NAMA had to expand the air-ground communication.

“We earlier had eight satellite stations in eight locations, we have to expand the stations to 14, which included the new locations like Kaduna, Jos was restored and we expanded it to Benin, Enugu, and Calabar in addition to other locations such as Ilorin, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Abuja, Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt, totally 14”.

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This had improved significantly the pilots-controllers’ voice communication within the upper airspace where we had few challenges in the past.

On communication, Pwajok noted that they started a project to improve communications in 12 control towers, replacing the voice communication and control system that includes the 12 domestic airports to enhance safety.


“On navigation, we have done tremendous investment because some of the facilities had become obsolete, we have replaced all the instruments landing systems with a minimum of Category Two ILS.

“We have fully deployed a satellite desk station for the VSAT in these 14 locations to give a complete voice communication air-ground networking of Nigeria for the upper air space control in Kano and in Lagos”..

Wole Shadare