Plane taking off
By Chinedu Eze
The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) would by June move to satellite based navigation, which would provide aircraft with precise data, information and saves time in addition to improving safety.
Following this, airline operators and pilots have been urged to key into the satellite based navigation system also known as the Performance Based Navigation (PBN).
The General Manager, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Supo Atobatele said that there was a meeting between the agency and all the airlines operators and pilots to inform them about the latest development.
"On Tuesday, we met with the pilots in the industry and airline operators, just to inform them about the development in NAMA, particularly the satellite based navigation system also known as performance based navigational system. Like you know, some weeks ago, we migrated from the terrestrial air navigation system to the satellite-based navigation system"
"So, we need to tell them what we have on ground and what they should do. Particularly, for you to operate within the sphere of the PBN system your aircraft must be compliant, it must carry the prerequisite gadgets. So what we are trying to do is to just inform them" Atobatele said.
He however stressed that any time from now NAMA would announce the commencement of the satellite based navigation system, adding that airlines that would operate on the system would be those whose aircraft comply with the PBN system.
"Anytime from now, we will announce a specific date for the commencement of the PBN system in Nigeria, particularly for the major air route and airports like Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcort, and Kano"
“Like you are aware, the test flight has been done by Emirates Airline as the first to carry out the approach test on Global Navigation Satellite System, GNSS, in Lagos while the KLM recorded same in Kano, as at today, South Africa Airways has equally joined, they did it on their own and it was 100 percent successful, so we are urging all the local airlines to join too" Atobatele said.
Atobatele identified the gains of the new system and noted that aircraft that are compliant would land faster as it would facilitate seamless flight operation without the pilot having to contact the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) all the time as they can see all the information on the cockpit while flying.
Earlier, Nigeria migrated from terrestrial air navigation system to a satellite-based navigation system with Emirates Airline acting as the first airline to carry out the approach test on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), in Lagos while the KLM recorded same in Kano.
Since early last year, the agency had sent out engineers for training in Europe and the organisation had designed the charts and flown the procedures, and has received the go ahead from the regulatory body, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The Managing Director of the agency, Nnamdi Udo, disclosed recently that satellite based mode of air traffic management was dovetailed into performance based navigation, which the agency had since embraced.