Relief as Domestic Runway, MMIA Get Airfield Lighting

Chinedu Eze

The domestic runway that was lit last week brought smile to the face of domestic airlines operators.

This is because the project will save them N2 billion annually as fuel burnt taxing from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport runway to the domestic runway.

The facility, since 2008, was put into use without airfield lighting.

Besides the huge money saved, it also saves the airlines the time they spent in the air during high traffic to wait for their turn to land or take off. Also, in case of safety emergency, it provides a landing alternative at night.

After the rehabilitation of the domestic runway, which was put into use in 2008, there were always assurances that the runway light would be installed in a matter of months until after 14 years.

The airfield lighting that was installed at the domestic runway has been adjudged by pilots as one of the best and the company that installed it, Merry Aviation Communication Electronics and Industry Nigeria Limited (MACE), said it installed the best lighting system at the runway.

THISDAY spoke to the CEO of the company, Manoj Jagtiani who said that MACE was established in Nigeria for several years, specialising in the aviation sector and providing communications, security and other services, which are safety critical components, equipment and facilities that are essential in airport management and development.

“Our company is working in the aviation sector and we supply, install and maintain the following systems: navigational aids, airfield lighting conventional / solar, apron flood lighting, control tower equipment, mobile control tower, communication system, security equipment, meteorology and baggage handling system,” Jagtiani said.

Jagtiani who was obviously elated during the unveiling of the airfield lighting, thanked the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and said that November 15 of every year would be remembered for the good job MACE did installing the lighting system at the domestic runway.

“We thank the Honourable Minister of Aviation for granting us the opportunity to complete this long awaited project for the airfield lighting of Lagos domestic Runway 18L. This dream would not have come to reality without the special efforts of the Honourable Minister and other involved.  All aviation stakeholders should appreciate this milestone achievement, which will result in the saving of serious revenue, fuel and time due to the use of taxy from international to the domestic runway. This installation has been a long awaited installation for over 14 years by everyone in Nigerian aviation industry.

He identified other benefits of the runway lighting and noted that it would enable 24-hour operations on R18L.

“I would also like to acknowledge and appreciate the exceptional support and assistance extended to us by the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu and Chief of Staff, Mr. Lawal Abdullahi who provided us unflinching support at every point to enable us achieve the completion of this installation. Our company has been actively involved in the aviation technical sector in Nigeria as well as West and Central Africa for over 25 years and this installation has been a major achievement. MACE was able to complete this airfield lighting installation in 90 days, which is a record-breaking achievement in aviation. I would like to take this opportunity to also sincerely thank all efforts by the MACE technical team as well as all members of the FAAN electrical and technical team that provided us valuable support always to enable the completion of this milestone project,” he said.

According to Jagtiani, MACE has been a company present for more than 37 years in the West African market.

“We are manufacturers of plastic, imports and distribution of communication and electronic testing equipment, imports and distribution of consumer electronics and electrical components.

MACE employs currently more than 350 personnel and has several competent engineers, highly qualified technicians and teams of commercial personnel for distribution and marketing. MACE is located in Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria and nerve-center of the West-African market, as well as in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. In addition, to this, MACE has a wide distributor network spanning across the country in almost all states of Nigeria. The Central Warehousing Department is situated in Lagos,” he disclosed.

Since more than 20 years, he said MACE consolidated its activities in plastic industries and diversified its activities in the distribution and the services through the various specialized branches of the Group, noting that its structure today “allows us to answer quickly the problems of the African market in several sector of activities.”

Reacting to the development, the CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, commended Sirika and MACE for the completion of the project and said it would save airlines cost and time. He explained that some aircraft components wear and tear by time; so the short period aircraft taxis to the terminal from the domestic runway would save the depreciation of those components.

Also, other pilots have commended the efficiency and quality of work done, remarking that that it had brought the runway alive again, as domestic services can be going on there uninterrupted after dusk. They also urged that similar efforts should be extended to some other runways, where airfield lighting is yet to be installed.

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