Air safety under threat as hoodlums consistently vandalize NAMA assets

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….as agency appeals for upgrades of communication gadgets, others

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

Managing Director, NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu who announced this during the visit of the Senate Committee on Aviation to his office in Lagos led by its Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said the agency was in dare need of the protection of its navigational aids in the country as they were consistently vandalized by hoodlums.

He regretted that the country never foresaw the current security challenges in some parts of the country and mentioned Iju area of Lagos as one of the places were its equipment had been vandalised.

The NAMA MD said, this development was capable of hampering air safety in the country.

Captain Akinkuotu also sought the National Assembly assistance to prioritize the agency, saying that some of its communication gadgets have become archaic and needed replacement.
“We need your support to further upgrade our facilities especially our communication gadgets, which are archaic.”

Akinkuotu emphasised that the agency was linking all its stations with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and appealed to more funding for the agency.  
He said: “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, which gives you different minima”.

In his comment, Senator Smart Adeyemi, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation said that the senate was aware of some of the challenges facing the agency and promised to help it overcome them.
Adeyemi also explained that the relevance of NAMA in the aviation industry could not be underestimated.

“I know that the safety we enjoy in the aviation industry is not unconnected with the contributions of all of you in this agency. I salute you for this. You have done excellently well.

“You have said a lot of things that bother on safety, you talked about communication, navigation and surveillance that talk about safety and that is the major issue in the aviation industry. Once people are sure of their safety, they would fly,” he said.
Adeyemi also promised that the National Assembly would accelerate the six aviation agencies’ bills seeking to change their Acts in the next few months.

He noted that some of the challenges facing some of the agencies, especially NAMA would be addressed through the new bills, assuring that whatever would be passed by the assembly would pass the test of time.

“Aviation in Nigeria today is something we should be proud of. We may not have attained the level that people want to see, but seriously speaking there are areas that when you look at it in aviation, we can say we have not done badly.  We have had a very good track record of safety, but I think we can do better”.

“However, there is the need to protect NAMA assets at all stations, including Iju area of Lagos. I would have loved to take you there, but for lack of time at this moment. The fact is we never foresaw the current situation in the country. Some of our facilities have been vandalised in some stations”.

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