The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has assured airlines and other airspace users that the nation’s airspace is safe for seamless and economic air navigation.
Khalid Emele, General Manager, Public Relations, NAMA, in a statement on Sunday said the Managing Director of the agency, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, gave the assurance while receiving the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, George Uriesi in Lagos.
Akinkuotu explained that the agency had taken drastic steps to tackle communication challenges especially in the upper airspace in the past couple of years, noting that significant progress has being made in that direction.
He said this had seen to the upgrading of communication infrastructure in phases.
According to him, radio communication in the ground control, covering 65 nautical miles at the 32 air traffic control units in Nigerian airports is perfect.
He added that the second phase which is the tower control, also covering 65 nautical miles and critical for landing and takeoff, is perfectly working in all the 32 airports in the country.
The third phase, which he referred to as “approach communication”, covering up to 130 nautical miles, is also working perfectly in all the 32 air traffic control units in the country.
Akinkuotu said that the last phase, which was the Area Control or Upper Airspace Communication, may have a few challenges, attributing the challenges to the creation of new routes.
He added that concerted efforts were being made to address these challenges, one of which was the deployment of the Total Very High Frequency Coverage of Nigeria in 2010 which he said was limited by the architecture of 8 VHF remote radio stations deployed then.
The managing director said NAMA had taken delivery of Extended Range VHF radio systems to replace the old radios in 8 remote sites while six more are to be added.
He added: “There is also the deployment of 54 VSAT nodes, inside the Aeronautical Information Services Automation project.
“This project has lingered through all the regimes in NAMA but we are currently making efforts to see to the final takeoff of the automation project which we believe would boost our communication system.”
He also pledged the cooperation of the agency towards making Ibom Air a strong brand.
He said: “We want Ibom Air to succeed because if you succeed, NAMA succeeds and it is through your success that we can pay our bills.”
Earlier in his remarks, Uriesi said the visit was in accordance with the desire of the airline to interface with critical stakeholders and create partnerships in its quest to become a reputable airline that would be the pride of the nation.