NAMA begins replacement of obsolete safety tools at four airports

  • Begins phase process for others
  • To Curtail airspace blind spots with new radios
Equipment The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has concluded plans to deploy new Instrument Landing Systems (ILSs) like the Distance measuring equipment (DME), DVOR Doppler VOR (DVOR) to replace obsolete facilities at the nation’s airports.
Already, NAMA is extending the VHF coverage in Northern Nigeria, to address the communication challenges due to blind spots. This will cover Kaduna, Jos, Enugu and Benin.
NAMA said it is a capital intensive project, but determined to get it right. There are indications that the equipment could gulp over $4 million.
The DME is a transponder-based radio navigation technology that measures slant range distance by timing the propagation delay of VHF or UHF radio signals, just as this would help to enhance pilot-air traffic controller communication.
Director, Safety Electronics and Engineering Services (DSEES) of the agency, Umar Ahmad Faruk, an engineer of the agency said when the newly elected executive of the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) met with him in his office.
He said the deployment of the expensive equipment would a phased process starting with the busiest airports like Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Abuja.
Faruk stated that similarly, ten watt radios are already in place with the capacity to cover 150 nautical miles on aerodrome and approach, adding that the requirement is 70 miles coverage.
He further disclosed that the equipment for both Lagos west and east and Kano west and east have the capacity to cover 241 nautical miles at 41,000 feet and beyond depending on the line of sight.
Similarly, he stated that NAMA is going fully, the renewable green energy way, with solar power installations for all navigational and communications field equipment, stressing that NAMA is determined by the end of 2018 to ensure all equipment are solar powered.
He noted that the process of conversion, modifications and testing are already in full gear.
His words, “Ratings are being developed for power systems. Similarly, batches of engineers are already on standby to proceed to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria for various trainings inclusive of ATSEP preparatory training”.
General Manager, Terrestrial services, Mrs. Mojisola Dokun congratulated the new NAAE leadership on its emergence.
She used the opportunity to commend the leadership Faruk, and stated that he has the singular quality of carrying everyone along.
She stated that the new NAAE leadership inherited a divided house and hence a herculean task of mending fences and bringing everyone on board. She admonished the new NAAE leadership to carry everyone along, redeem the image of all NAAE members in NAMA, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), NCAT and IBOM with haste as valuable time had been lost already.
She reminded the new exco that this is leadership by service, urging the executive to be willing and ready to serve in all humility the whole engineering profession.
The NAAE General Secretary, Ishaya Idris Akaaba stated that NCAT in full collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has developed Standard training packages (STP’s) covering power systems and navigational aids.
He stated that NCAT is in the process of constructing renewable power systems laboratories that are designed to teach students hands on the harnessing, installations and maintenance of Wind, Solar and Bio-mass energy alternative sources of power.
This, he said is the answer to the power challenges of the country and the training needs of ATSEP’s and navigation and communication engineers in the aviation and communications industry.
NAAE President, Ishaya Dung thanked Faruk,  Dokun, the directorate, management and all engineers for the honour given to him to serve in this capacity.
He stated that he knows all eyes are on the new NAAE leadership, and this doubles as a reason why NAAE cannot fail under his watch. He stated that from a distance, he had admired the leadership qualities of the director.
He further promised that, as advised, this new NAAE leadership will remain truthful, just and resilient.
 He pleaded with the outgoing Exco to always be available and willing when called upon with advice and direction. He pledged that unity truth and dogged determination will remain his watch words.
NAAE outgoing President Engr. Isaac Orishaleye and Bulus Bodam pledged their unflinching support and unreserved commitment to continue to assist the new executive in whichever way possible to ensure a successful tenure.
Wole Shadare