NCAA: 5G not a cause for worry in air safety, UAE yet to Communicate lift in travel ban

Capt. Musa Nuhu, DG NCAA

The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the deployment of the 5G is not a cause for concern or threat to air safety in Nigeria.

In a chat with aviation reporters in Lagos on safety issues in the industry, Captain Nuhu explained that, for now, the CAA was still monitoring the situation and if there were issues that might affect the industry, immediate action would be taken.

The roll out of the fifth generation mobile network called the 5G, has kept generating reactions from global experts on the effects it may have on safety of the aircraft.

It is the opinion of safety experts that the 5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

The airline industry says, planes with older altimeters could be susceptible to interference from 5G signals meaning that, pilots who are not able to see to land or take off – say in fog or other weather conditions – would not be able to rely on instruments because of possible interference.

Director General NCAA Captain Musa said, the concern raised about the 5G was  interference with aircraft that are being controlled to land.

“There is a critical component called radio altimeter; the spectrum by which this equipment operates is close to that of the 5G. So, they are afraid of interference from the radio altimeter and giving aircraft erroneous indication and it’s during aircraft approach landing when they are about 2,500ft or so above the ground”.

He gives further explanation why the industry would not entertain any fears as regards the network.

“Usually, it is for flights that are put to land for us in Nigeria, we don’t have auto landing authorisation, our flights don’t do auto landing”. 

On the recent lifting of travel ban by the United Arab Emirates, UAE on eleven African countries including Nigeria, the NCAA boss said, resumption of flights from that country to Nigeria was yet to be communicated to the Ministry of Aviation.

“Unofficially, we are not aware because I need the UAE CAA to officially inform me through government to government channels. So, when we get that it becomes official”. When we receive their letter, then, the Federal Government will have to take a decision on that. We have the Ministry of Aviation, which deals with matters of policies and also, we have the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19. However, we don’t think it will take time to take a decision once we receive the letter officially”.

He also disclosed that, slots requested by Air Peace had been given by the UAE Civil Aviation Authority and in return the NCAA also gave them the slots they wanted too.

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