Nigeria’s air safety under threat over ageing equipment, vandalism: NAMA

*The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency says the country’s aviation sector is under serious threat and it requires Federal Government’s support to further upgrade aviation facilities, especially obsolete communication gadgets

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

For the dire need of protection for its navigational aids, and obsolete communication gadgets, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said the country’s air space is now under serious threat as hoodlums have continued to vandalise its equipment and assets across all its facilities in the country.

It was gathered Captain Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director of NAMA, raised the alarm during the visit of the Senate Committee on Aviation to his office in Lagos, led by Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the Committee, at the weekend.

Captain Akinkuotu stated that the agency is in dire need of protection for its navigational aids, and called for immediate support of the National Assembly (NASS) for the replacement of ageing communication gadgets.

The NAMA boss said it was unfortunate that the country didn’t foresee the current security challenges in some parts, especially Iju area of Lagos, which he alleged as one of the places where its equipment were vandalised.

According to him, this negative development is capable of hampering air flight safety in the country.

The NAMA Chief stated the agency is linking all its stations with the Information Communication Technology (ICT), and appealed to more funding.

The Federal Government has given approval for the installation of three Category III Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at Kano, Port Harcourt and Katsina Airports to further enhance the coverage of the country’s airspace, said he.

Akinkuotu noted: “Navigational aids are key components in safety.  If communication is poor, it increases stress and reduces air safety. In getting from point A to B in the air, we have air waves.

“When we get to our stations, we are meant to provide navigation into the runway and terminal where the pilot can have smooth and safe landing; that is why we need new and up-to-date navigational aids.”

He further explained that “we need your support to further upgrade our facilities especially our communication gadgets, which are now archaic.

“NAMA has made good efforts in recent times to build on what we have in the past few years. We installed two different Category III ILS equipment….”

Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, in his remark said that the Senate was aware of some of the challenges facing the agency and promised to help it overcome them.

The Federal lawmaker stated that the relevance of NAMA in the aviation industry could not be underestimated.

Adeyemi said: “I know that the safety we enjoy in the aviation industry is not unconnected with the contributions of all of you in this agency,”

He promised that the National Assembly would accelerate the six aviation agencies’ bills seeking to change their Acts in the next few months.

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