NAMA increases satellite ground base stations to 14 for new airports in Nigeria

MINA Blog- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has increased the satellite ground base stations from eight to 14 to accommodate the new airports across the country.

The Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr Matthiew Pwajok noted that in the past, there were only eight satellite stations serving the airports across the countries.

Pwajok explained that the base stations were built due to the airports that were coming up in Bayelsa, Anambra, Ekiti, Osun, Abeokuta and elsewhere.

“We have to increased the number of satellite base stations from eight to 14, with some of them strategically installed in Benin, Enugu, Calabar, Jos, Kaduna, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Kano and Abuja.

“This is to enhance communication between pilots and Air Traffic Controllers in the upper air space,” he said.

Pwajok explained that new ground stations would further improved significantly the pilots- controllers voice communication within the upper airspace where it had few challenges in the past.

He said the agency had completely overhauled of all the landing systems in over 10 airports, replacing them with brand new doppler Very High-Frequency Omni-Directional Range (VOR) navigational gear.

Pwajok said the agency had invested heavily in ground navigation by installing Doppler VOR in not less than 10 airports including Maiduguri, Enugu, Minna, Jos, Sokoto, Kano and Benin, among others.

He added that it was currently installing Category Three Instrument Landing System (ILS) in Kano, Katsina and Port Harcourt. Satellite based navigation equipment had also been installed to serve as backup to the ground navigation systems.

On navigation, Pwajok said it had invested tremendously on new airspace equipment because some of the facilities had become obsolete, adding that it had replaced all the obsolete ILS with a minimum of Cat2 ILS.

The Cat2 ILS gives capability approach and landing visibility up to 300 metres as against the Cat1 that required 800 metres for the approach and landing.

He said it had installed the Cat2 ILS in over 10 airports, saying it installed one in the Domestic runway in Lagos, two installed in Benin, one in Enugu, Sokoko, Maiduguri, Abuja and in Lagos.

“We have also installed Cat2 in Yola, Sokoto, Jos, Akure, Minna and Ilorin in addition to the ones I cannot remember to mention,” he said.

Pwajok said the agency under his watch was installing additional three Cat3 ILS in Katsina, Kano and Port Harcourt, which was in addition to the Cat3 that had already been installed in the Lagos and Abuja airports.

In addition to ensuring safe skies, efficient communication and economy of flight, Pwajok, said the agency under his watch has placed a premium on staff welfare through training, certifications and remuneration.

He said pensioners who have not been paid since 2018, had now received what was rightfully theirs.

He said the payment of backlog pensions was done to ensure that these people were at peace and are happy with their families. Also speaking, NAMA’s Director of Operations, Mr Jibrin Haske urged airlines to take advantage of the various new equipment put in place for the optimisation of air traffic operations and for the safety of the Nigerian airspace.