Harmattan Haze: NAMA completes calibration of ILS CAT 2, 3 in 15 airports, deploys VSAT’s, others

Director Operations Mr. Lawrence Mathew Pwajok

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, says it has calibrated all Instrument Landing Systems, ILS and other navigation facilities in 15 airports across the country.

This is just as the agency assures that the embarrassing situation experienced in the country last year and early 2020 due to the harmattan haze at the Lagos airport had been addressed.

Director Operations in NAMA, Mr. Mathew Lawrence Pwajok in an interview said the calibration of all the facilities started on the 7th of October and ended on the 31st of October.

According to him,  the new Nigerian calibration aircraft 5N CAA was used for the exercise which had saved lots of funds for the agency.

Pwajok explained that with the installation and calibration of the landing aids, aircraft can have access to all airports at anytime especially the International airports opened for flight operations and others yet to be opened. 

“At the moment, we have installed new navigational facilities in the following airports Port Harcourt we have a new DVOR, a dopplar VOR, we have also a new ILS CAT 2, we installed a new DVOR in Jos and a new ILS CAT 2. In Maiduguri, we installed DVOR and ILS CAT 2 and all calibrated also in the last calibration successfully. In Enugu, we have a new ILS CAT 2 installed this year and calibrated successfully.”

Explaining further, he said, “In Benin, we ILS CAT 2 installed and we are currently installing another ILS on the other runway in Benin CAT 2 brand new and we also DVOR that is on ground and the installation are going on as we speak.”

“All to enhance aircraft access to the airport and landing at any time. Even currently we are installing ILS CAT 2 in Akure, done ILS in Kano CAT 2 and a doppler VOR also in Kano all calibrated successfully. At the moment, we have an ILS system a new one in Minna and a DVOR awaiting installation, they are all on ground few work has been done it is just to install the equipment.”

On flight diversions experienced last year, the NAMA Director Operations, assured that this is now history as the current landing equipment currently on ground in Lagos both ground and satellite, tested, reliable, accurate and confirmed, there would be no diversions.

“In the event you can’t use the ground equipment you can also use the satellite based systems for navigation, so both ground navigation and satellites navigation have been calibrated, tested, confirm, very reliable, very accurate. I can assure you fully we will not have such embarrassing situation again.”

“Yes, I can give you full assurance, number one, the two international airports that are opened for International flights, Abuja and Lagos, the ILS systems CAT 3 has been successfully calibrated with no restrictions, no limitations for both Abuja and Lagos”, he added.

Pwajok emphasized that, “we will not have any of such diversions except the airlines because of operational areas try to divert other than that, the ILS, the VOR systems have all been calibrated, in fact we also calibrated the procedures for the first time, the PBN procedures where validated, where flight checked.”

On the state of Radio Communications, Mr. Pwajok said, NAMA had deployed VSAT’s to improve air to ground communications in the extreme areas of the airspace, adding that this could be confirmed from the users of the airspace.

“The area we had challenges in the past is not in the short range but the extended range radius but they are working very well now you can confirm from those who are using it, there has been a lot of new VSAT that have been deployed, the VSAT are for communication, air ground communication.”

He added, “We have done VSAT in the extreme areas where we have these challenges and the extreme areas are Enugu to cover the east for Lagos. Maiduguri to cover the north east for Kano, Wukari to cover further down to Maiduguri further down to Yola and Jalingo, then Sokoto covers the North west, so we have put in new VSAT facilities in this areas and it has improved the communication systems.”