Airlines to save quarter million Naira daily with satellite air navigation-DG NCAA

  • NCAA to fast-track regulatory approval for SBAS-Minister

The Director-General, of Civil Aviation Nigeria, Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu said airlines would be saving a quarter of a million Naira on each flight with the adoption of the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) which the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has successfully implemented.

To successfully migrate to SBAS, Nigerian carriers had been enjoined to retrofit their airplanes in order to be able to switch to the system. Europe had since 2003 migrated to a satellite navigation system called the European Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS) which encompasses the Global Satellite Navigation System established under the Galileo programme and the European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS).

The NAMA had on Wednesday successfully carried out the demonstration flight to improve on the accuracy, integrity, and availability of the signal through augmentation of the satellite systems with its $8.5 million Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft.

Capt Musa Nuhu

The landmark air safety tool was witnessed by representatives of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) among other global and regional aviation bodies.

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Nuhu equally stated that aside from the huge costs that airlines that have keyed into the satellite navigation system would save, the amount of carbon emission would be drastically cut, adding that Africa is hugely affected by climate change.

An airline for instance that does over 50 flights a day, depending on the number of passengers it carries and earns approximately N150 million or more would be saving about N15 million

Cumulatively, virtually all the airlines would save about N120 million daily with the deployment of the system.

According to him, “A quarter of a million naira is saved just on one sector by an airline. This is a quantum amount of money that would be saved by any airline that adopts SBAS. Also, if an airline is doing about eight sectors daily, you know how much money would be saved through this means alone. “Besides, the amount of carbon emission would also reduce as you all know, Africa is hugely affected by climate change.

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“SBAS technology allows for the coverage of very wide sections of airspace and locations that were previously overlooked by terrestrial-based navigation aids. In many circumstances, it also provides more capacity, flexibility, and cost-effective navigation alternatives than older ground-based navigation aids. SBAS is an important component of Performance Based Navigation (PBN).”

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika noted that to support the aviation industry to attain full recovery and resilience, strategic measures must be implemented to enhance safety, efficiency, capacity, cost-effectiveness, interoperability, seamlessness, access, and equity, as well as environmental sustainability.

He assured that upon the successful completion of the demonstration, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would fast-track the required regulatory approval in order to adopt and implement SBAS for use in Nigeria.

The Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Lawrence Mathew Pwajok said, “When an airline tells you their fuel consumption, you will understand and you multiply that by 5 minutes you will know how much it is. We also have the calculation which we can make available to you for different airline categories in fuel savings, time savings, and CO2 emission savings which is very critical. Environmental sustainability is very key to this satellite navigation.”

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“That is one of the driving forces when it reduces flight time, fuel consumption, and CO2 emission. We have the calculation of the CO2 emissions and when I calculated the number of flights that fly that route and the number of reductions in flight time and fuel consumption, they act to give a quantum per annum on the savings for that implementation. Multiple over the years, maybe 300 flights through that route, you can actually see an amazing reduction for an airline.”

Wole Shadare