The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) said it has saved about N1.5billion by engaging indigenous engineers, instead of employing expatriates to carry out technical and safety critical function of the agency.
This was disclosed by the acting Managing Director of the NAMA, Emmanuel Anasi, who said he employed the services of indigenous engineers for the maintenance of its facilities across the airports in the past two years.
Anasi disclosed this while briefing members of the House committee on Aviation led by Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, saying the money was saved following the disengagement of manufacturers of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), which led to the maintenance of its facilities by indigenous engineers.
According to the acting Managing Director, the installers of the facility left two years ago having trained their Nigerians counterparts on the radar maintenance.
While praising the ingenuity of the engineers, Anasi disclosed that the agency needed more funds to enable it upgrade the TRACON system to meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and systems migrate to new technology aimed at harmonising its activities.
According Anasi, nothing was wrong with the TRACON but explained that some of the systems were not included when the radar was installed.
He noted that well equipped facilities would further reduce work load on the Air Traffic Controllers.
The NAMA boss said the country’s Airspace remained very safe and working towards improving the system.
He announced that a team of NAMA engineers was presently in Maiduguri working on the voice communication to enhance communication between the pilot and Controllers.
The agency has also embarked on other projects, including Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) Automation project in view of the fact that AIS is the “live-wire of any air navigation system, as it ensures the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation through the exchange of accurate, timely and reliable information to airspace users.’’
The agency revealed that the first phase of automation shall become fully operational at 11 stations nationwide by late 2016, adding that the ongoing global migration from terrestrial based navigation to satellite based navigation (i.e. Performance Based Navigation) needed a high level of accuracy and integrity of data required for safety, efficiency and economy of flight operations.
The agency provides navigation, surveillance and communication services to air operation in Nigeria.