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Austria Ambassador commends NAMA for safe airspace

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Mr. Lawrence Matthew Pwajok has commended AVSATEL for providing NAMA with the best equipment ever that has guaranteed the safety of the Nigerian Airspace over the years.

The Managing Director who is an authority in the aviation industry made this remark during a courtesy visit by the Austrian Ambassador Mr. push({});

Thomas Schlesinger in company of his secretary Ms. Antonia Bierbaumer and also the AVASTEL team with the MD/CEO Mr. Georg Eder, General Manager Technical Mr.
Greg Eden and Mr. Uche Ogbunugafor as the software/IT officer.

“AVSATEL provided us with one of the best equipment ever, I must confess. One of the very first projects that brought Nigeria to limelight internationally in terms of safety.

“We previously had series of aircraft accidents in 2005 and 2006. And the government of Nigeria as an intervention to address the situation came up with a conceptualized project and which was purely based on the initiative of AVSATEL.

The project provided Air Traffic Management System Automated Systems, Digital Systems with the accompanying Communication Infrastructure, both for Air Ground Communication and for Ground Ground Communication, that is Voice Communication and Control System integrating the voice recording systems, ground communication between air traffic control units and between air traffic control and aircraft flight and the project between Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt International Airports, provided us with the Aeronautical met aspect of it.

That is providing digital real time metrological information which was partly the reason for some of the crashes in 2005 and 2006, wind shear alerting systems were not in existence; a lot of these aircraft crashed as a result windshield and lack of updates of weather reports.

But with the system deployed, you get a special weather report every now and then when you have significant changes.

So any major change in weather the Air Traffic Controller sees and alerts the pilot which has prevented a whole lot of situation.

“The projects started in 2007 and we were able to do Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt in 2008, Kano was completed in 2015 because the tower kind of had a problem and we needed to build a new tower before deployment.

“So the system is very versatile, it has also a surveillance capability integrated into it, where the controllers can also see the aircraft while managing it. And we’re able to build in both ground control, Tower Control, that is for surveys guidance on the ground, and also for aircraft landing and taking off within the vicinity of the airport.

“It’s a fantastic project. When it was delivered, there was no country in Africa that had that. So we’re very proud to say that anywhere, anytime.

“It was the first automated air traffic management system in the whole of Africa.”

The Austria Ambassador to Nigeria has heaped praises on the MD of NAMA and his team for guaranteeing the safety of the airspace by partnering with AVSATEL which provides it with world standard equipment which serves as a tool for the provision of air navigation services to airspace users.

“I am very humbled by your responsibility here because the lives of passengers and the lives of military personnel rests in your hands.

And that is something which we always have to be reminded of when you rightly refer to the sad incidents of 2005 and 2006 because at the time, you didn’t have the instruments that would exactly have these air rollover effects detected.

So it is also for us as private persons reassuring you hope because we frequently sit in the airplanes wheather in Nigerian planes or other international planes.

“It’s good to know that our safety is guaranteed. And I’m very grateful, very grateful. I am very impressed by the beautiful work you doing.”

The NAMA boss anatomize the activities of the agency to his guest saying, “The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) provides Air Navigation Services to airspace users. We currently have Federal Government airports, State government airports and Private airports in Nigeria.

Three more airports are actually under construction, while the other ones are currently providing services there. The oil companies also own their private airports in the oil region of the country.

The country also enjoys five international airports situated at Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu. We also have six Seasonal International airports which are frequently used for pilgrimage activities.

“We provide Air Navigational service, which is basically Air Traffic Management Services supported by infrastructure communications both air ground communication, ground ground communication, that is communication between pilots and air traffic control.“

The pragmatic MD revealed the navigational section of the agency and its activities. “We also have navigation unit which provides navigational facilities that guide aircraft in flight. We have two forms of navigation, ground base navigation and satellite based navigational capabilities which provides backup.

“We also have global navigational satellite system and a global positioning system that we’re using to provide satellite based form of navigation as a backup ground equipment.”

The NAMA boss said the agency is at the moment using the American Satellite System through the GPS and also the EGNOS which is a European Union Initiative in partnership with NIGCOMSAT for the purpose of satellite navigation.

“We also have a NIGCOMSAT (Nigerian Communication Satellite) that is trying to implement satellite navigation but at the moment we are using the American satellite through the GPS, we are also using European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in partnership with the NIGCOMSAT to do Satellite Based Augmentation system (SBAS) which is a European Union Initiative which we have been having series of partnership with them.

“We are planning to have a demonstration flight by using the satellite system based on EGNOS with the European Union and the NIGCOMSAT here in Nigeria.

“We’re are having that kind of collaboration for some years. But we want to do a practical demonstration of the use of an aircraft using satellite navigation to do that.”

The versatile MD further described the ground navigational equipment that guarantees communication and guidance for flight aircraft.

“We provide run navigational equipment, instrument landing system that gives the aircraft guidance for landing. And then we also have the Directional once that we call the Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Radio Range (VOR).

They are all broadcast systems transmitting directional information to aircraft. For ground infrastructure that is what we do. We deploy them at all airports to guide aircraft and then also assist aircraft for landing. That is precision navigation.

The MD Mr. Matthew Lawrence disclosed a project that has the capacity to cover or survey the entire airspace designed by AVSATEL which provides the visibility of seeing all aircraft in flight within the Nigerian Airspace and also the Agency is also responsible for search and rescue, provision of aeronautical information.

“We also have a surveillance system which is able to cover the entire Nigerian airspace. We have a project that provides a complete surveillance to the Nigerian Airspace so we’re able to see all aircraft in flight.

“And we are also responsible for aeronautical search and rescue in the event of an incident and accident, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency is also responsible for carrying out search and rescue activities in Nigeria.

“And we’re also responsible for aeronautical information management, providing information flow for flight movement information on all airports, within the country and outside the country to assist flight crew.

“We also have the aero med component or provided by AVSATEL, which provides pilot with electronic means of getting pre-flight information for briefing that comes along with the air traffic management system which carries a lot of information on the aero med that covers wind speed, wind direction, pressure, temperature, cloud base and visual rays.”

Mr Lawrence Pwajok said the agency also has support services with a cumulation of about 30 departments with specialized duties.

Finally, the MD on behalf of management thank the Austrian Ambassador and also members of the AVSATEL Communication Limited for the visit.

The MD presented an award of Execellence to the Austrian Ambassador, his Secretary and also The MD of AVSATEL.

In attendance where the Director of Engineering, Operations, Finance, Human Resources and General Manager Public Affairs Mr. Khalid Emele.

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