Satellite-based Communication Will Save Domestic Airlines over N119bn Annually, Says DG NCAA

Chinedu Eze

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu has disclosed that satellite based communication being introduced by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) would save domestic airlines about N119, 232, 000, 000 annually by reducing flight time to their destinations.
This was made possible when airlines migrate to Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS), which is using satellite provided by NIGCOMSAT to navigate their way in the airspace.

Nuhu made this known yesterday, in a goodwill message at the ongoing Satellite Based Augmentation System Flight Demonstration and Workshop in Abuja.
He said if adopted, it would reduce flight time for any destination by at least five minutes for domestic airlines, which would save them a lot of money in fuel consumption.

Using the dominant aircraft operated by domestic airlines, which is Boeing 737 Classic that burns 3, 500 litres of fuel per hour at the cost N2, 800, 000 (N800 per litre), this he said would save airlines N46, 000 per minute and N230, 000 for five minutes.
Multiplied with 180 flights operated by domestic airlines per day, SBAS would save carriers N41, 400, 000 every one hour and N331, 200, 000 in eight hours, which is the average period Nigerian airlines operate in a day.
The SBAS would save the airlines N9, 936,000,000 per month and about N119, 232, 000, 000 per annum.
The Director General of NCAA said SBAS could save the airlines 2

0-300 litres of fuel in one flight, which could save them a quarter of a million, judging from the current high cost of aviation fuel. He explained that every litre of fuel saved for the airline by the new system means a lot to the operators.
“The importance and application of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in the aviation industry has never been greater. There is a growing demand for GNSS application in commercial and government projects as an emerging technology for adoption; indeed, owning and operating a GNSS facility has become a matter of national pride, particularly when it comes to Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS).
“SBAS, is a satellite-based system that supports GNSS in providing additional accuracy, integrity, and availability to positioning, navigation, and timing for professional use and application in critical sectors that require precise positioning, such as the aviation industry.

“Today, we assemble in Abuja to share insights and progress made on the African continent with SBAS flight demonstrations in order to encourage stakeholders to accept and adopt SBAS technology in line with the strategy for the introduction of GNSS services in the AFI Region.
“SBAS technology allows for the coverage of very wide sections of airspace and locations that were previously overlooked by terrestrial-based navigation aids. In many circumstances, it also provides more capacity, flexibility, and cost-effective navigation alternatives than older ground-based navigation aids.
“SBAS is an important component of Performance Based Navigation (PBN),” Nuhu said.

In his speech, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, explained that the SBAS flight demonstration and outreach programme was being hosted by Nigeria (NAMA, NigComSat and NCAA) in conjunction with international partners such as the Joint Programme Office of the Satellite Navigation for Africa, European Union Global Action on Space, Augmented Navigation for Africa (ANGA) and others.

The Minister said the objective of the SBAS flight demonstration and outreach workshop was to provide a forum for collaborative engagement amongst civil aviation regulatory authorities, air navigation service providers, airspace users, equipment manufacturers, equipment providers and aircraft manufacturers.

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