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NAMA enhances air safety with upgrades of TRACON, Safety Tower projects, implements free routing airspace

Acting Managing Director, NAMA, Mr. Mathew Pwajok

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA has commenced the upgrade of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, TRACON, Safe Tower project and Multilateration for low level flying helicopter in the country.

The Acting Managing Director, NAMA, Mr. Mathew Pwajok who disclosed this in a chat with aviation correspondents in Lagos said funds for all the projects worth N23billion and $12.9 were approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC in February this year.

He said, these heavy investments are being made for the objective of enhancing safety, efficiency, security and the economics of operation in Nigeria.

Giving a breakdown of the funds for each project, Mr. Pwajok said, the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, TRACON project is worth N23b and the Safe Tower project over N13b.

According to him the N23b for TRACON includes software and hardware upgrades, training provision of maintenance agreement for the 9 radars covering the entire country.

Out of the N23b, N17b is for a system upgrade of the total radar system itself to a top sky radar system from a Eurocat C a state-of-the-art modern system used in Europe and other developed countries while N5b is for VASAT to connect the nine radar sites in the country.

‘’This radar stand alone but they are connected by VASATs, the VASATs convene a data to all these 9 locations, convening them to Kano, to Lagos to give a complete picture, a coverage of Nigeria, monitoring and controlling flights over Nigeria. These VASATs are to be upgraded to state of the art system as found as anywhere else in the world and they are in the 9 locations, Talata mafara, nunma, Maiduguri, Lagos, Abuja, Obubura, Kano, PH and Ilorin covering the entire country”.

The NAMA Boss also stated that, the Safe Tower system upgrade worth over N13b in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt includes Air Traffic Management, communication, surveillance components and aero meteorological systems to provide real-time weather to the Air Traffic Controllers in four internationals airports.

“It is an all inclusive project covering the upgrade requirements, provision of aerodrome and ground control at the 4 international airports. The project is ongoing, doing installations and upgrade of software and hardware in Lagos, when they are done, they will move to Abuja, Kano and PH”.

For the multilateration worth $12.9m, he said, this is to monitor and capture low flying helicopters in the gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta region as well as drones.

On navigation Mr. Pwajok said they have implemented what is called free routing airspace to assist airlines, adding that, this is the first time in the whole of continental Africa that this concept is implemented.

He listed the benefits to include, reduction in fuel consumption, CO2 emission, shorter flight time, distance flown and pilot workload and this has put Nigeria as one of the countries that have been able to do this.

“Aircraft take advantage of wind direction, wind speed; fly shorter distances within our airspace following the introduction or implementation of the free routing airspace that is a new concept aimed that at assisting airlines during the current recovery to enhance operational efficiency globally”.

Mr. Pwajok assured that with these projects embarked on; air navigation in the country is safe, adding that, adequate manpower had also been trained to handle these facilities.

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