The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said that it fully complied with the procurement of Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) installed at the Runway 18R of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, contrary to reports that indicated otherwise.
The agency said it also procured the ILS that met international standards and approval of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and also that of the industry regulatory agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, explained that in procuring the ILS the agency met the conditions given by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), which is statutorily responsible for approving procurements by ministries and agencies of federal government and has its laid down rules for such approvals.
Akinkuotu, also explained that the use of different procurement methods by MDAs was within the law establishing BPP, therefore approving, modifying or denying a request is entirely at the discretion of the BPP.
“We would however like to set the records straight on the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) CAT III that were installed in Lagos and Abuja late 2019 by NAMA. The aviation industry is a highly regulated sector with international standards and regulations guiding installation and operation of all categories of equipment, including ILS and other navigational aids.
“Compliance to these standards and rules cannot be doctored as insinuated in some reports, because the International Civil Aviation Organisation conducts annual audits on all safety related facilities of member states and receives detailed updates from Civil Aviation Authorities; in this case the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, at regular intervals.
“Furthermore, there are mandatory channels such as Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), etc. by which flight crews are updated on the true status of all navigational aids from time to time.”
He explained further: “For avoidance of doubt, a newly installed ILS is required by international standards to be flight commissioned (Flight calibrated) and a duly signed certificate issued to attest to its status (pass or fail) before it can be put to flight operation.
“Only this certificate is credible to show the correct status of any navigational aid equipment. This is the practice all over the world.”
Akinkuotu also said NAMA successfully installed Category III ILS/DME in Abuja airport and in one of the two runways in Lagos Airport; specifically, on Runway 18 right (RWY 18R) in November last year, in furtherance of its commitment to improving Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) equipment in Nigeria’s airspace.
“At the kick-off of the exercise, flight commissioning of ILS/DME(Distance Measuring Equipment) CAT III on RWY 18R and routine calibration of ILS/DME CAT II on RWY 18L became a top priority. At the first attempt to carryout calibration on the two runways in Lagos airport, the calibration aircraft encountered a peculiar problem,” he added.