NAMA addresses upper airspace communication challenge
FOLLOWING the successful installation of the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) station at the Abdullahi Wase Airport, Jos and the integration of the Very High Frequency (VHF) into the network in the north east corridor, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will commence the installation of another VSAT station and VHF radio systems at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The managing director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, who revealed this at the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) in Kano, said the installation of these equipment would enhance upper airways communication along the south east corridor using 127.3MHz radio frequency.
Emphasizing the agency’s determination to totally eliminate blind spots from the upper airspace Akinkuotu declared: “We have seen improvement along the north-east corridor that we tackled lately in Jos, and we are determined to see that communication is 5/5 in the entire airspace. If you can communicate just once instead of five times, the person at the receiving end understands you and is happy just as you are happy. If we can get better radios with good clarity, it will lessen the burden and make the job easier for both the air traffic controller and the pilot,” Akinkuotu said.
He implored controllers to imbibe good work ethics and strive for professionalism, even as he urged them to support initiatives of the agency such as the implementation of sectorisation which he said was a continuous process.
In a live telephone conversation at the forum, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who called in from Abuja promised that the Buhari administration would continue to partner with air traffic controllers and other relevant stakeholders to ensure safe skies for the country.
Also in his remarks, the Director of Operations, Mathew Lawrence Pwajok itemized some of the achievements of the agency under his directorate to include sectorization of Lagos Area Control operations into East and West sectors, reactivation of search and rescue operations, training of different categories of critical staff as well as licensing and rating of qualified air traffic controllers.
Earlier in his address, president of NATCA, Abayomi Agoro drew attention to some of the problems affecting air traffic controllers such as shortage of critical manpower, unavailability of special fund for ATC training, ageing communication facilities, delay in the approval of air traffic controllers’ new scheme of service etc.