FG Set to Revamp Communications in Nation’s Airspace

Fola Akinkuotu

Chinedu Eze

To sustain the safety record in air transport in the last six years, the federal government has initiated plans to revamp radio communications system in the nation’s airspace.

 This is to ensure effective communication between pilots and air traffic controllers and to eliminate currently existing areas where there are blind spots, where radio messages are not effectively received in the airspace.

 The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, who made this known also disclosed that all challenges experienced in the area of communications were being tackled with relentless vigour by government.

 Speaking at the interactive session organised for Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots in Lagos at the weekend, Akinkuotu said that radio communication had really improved since the last two years but noted that more needed to be done to have a very efficient system.

 He said radio communication was a critical factor in pilots-air traffic controllers and pilot-pilot exchanges during flight operations.

 The NAMA boss said at the interactive session that Nigeria’s airspace deserved the very best radio communications system, and that government was working to deliver it, insisting that there was no going back in achieving an efficient radio communication.

“We have made inroads in the area of radio communications but there are challenges. I want to assure my colleagues, the pilots and the controllers that efforts are being made. And we are not going to stop. I am not going to stop, so long as I am in NAMA, from trying to deliver an optimally functional radio communications system for our airspace.”

 Captain Akinkuotu, who has a rare distinction of being a pilot and an aeronautical engineer, explained that it was essential for communication between the pilots and air traffic controllers to be crisp and clear, noting that part of NAMA’s job was to provide communications system in the airspace, remarking that the agency working with government would not rest until the targeted high efficient system was achieved.

 He said although there had been “attestations that they have been some remarkable improvements,” he would not be satisfied until peak efficiency was attained.

 He added, “For me, good is not good enough. Why not the best?”