By Chinelo Obogo
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) said the deployment of the Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) would make zero visibility landing possible for aircraft.
Speaking during a monitoring visit to its air traffic control tower simulator and Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) site by the National Assembly Joint Aviation Committees in Lagos during the week, NAMA Acting Director General Mr. Mathew Pwajok said that in addition to CAT3, mobile control towers are very important for operations and have saved from dire situations especially in the midst of the pandemic. of COVID-19 and that NAMA seeks to ensure its nationwide spread. The agency currently has four mobile control towers and is expecting two more.
Pwajok said the agency has installed CAT2 ILS at 10 airports which can drop an aircraft 300 meters, and local airports in Nigeria should have CAT 2 while all international airports should have CAT 3.
He also said that with ILS it would be easier for foreign airlines to connect, but domestic airlines would need training, certification and approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“For domestic airlines there might be a challenge, but for international airlines most of them are already operating Category 3 in other countries. So for us CAT 3 is achievable, but the Domestic airlines should be encouraged to obtain NCAA approval for both flight crew training and certification, air traffic and operations manual specifications for these procedures to be CAT3. This is a low visibility operating procedure and it requires the NCAA to approve any operator to do so.
“During COVID we had an infected controller and we had to move outside the control tower to disinfect it and isolate people. The mobile control tower has become strategic because air traffic management cannot be allowed to fail. The plane cannot stop in the air. We’ve had a few disasters like the Cantonment disaster and when a flight has to land, someone has to control it.
“There must be contingencies for all levels of services, air traffic management services must have contingencies, there must be contingencies for navigation equipment services. There must be contingencies for communications and surveillance equipment,” he said.
The joint committee headed by Senate Aviation Committee Chairman Smart Adeyemi and House Aviation Committee Chairman Nnolim Nnaji said such critical safety equipment should be deployed in all geopolitical areas. .
Nnolim said that in the next budget or a supplementary budget, the National Assembly can allow for the acquisition of more mobile towers, especially for Enugu and Owerri airports.