528 views | Peters Okwudili | January 10, 2020
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says its navigational and landing aids remain serviceable.
The agency said this in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Affairs Department Mr. Khalid Emele in Lagos on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) had earlier issued a statement on the state of navigational infrastructure in the country.
NATCA said the diversion of a British Airways London Heathrow – Lagos bound BA 075 flight to Accra on Jan.6 was occasioned by the “degraded state of navigational and landing facilities due to lack of calibration.”
The agency said, “Indeed, nothing can be further from the truth.
“While we recognize and appreciate the rights of our workers to clamor for better work tools and operational environment, the reality is that our navigational infrastructure nationwide is not in any state of degradation.
“Our navigational facilities are operating optimally but are awaiting flight calibration in line with NCAA and International Civil aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations and world best practices.”
According to NAMA, the idea behind the installation of the CAT III Instrument Landing System in strategic airports in the country is borne out of the need to enhance safety and efficiency.
The agency said it was also to enhance access and seamlessness of flight operations in the nation’s airspace, especially during the harmattan season.
It said the prevailing weather condition in Lagos of 1,500m was within the approved minimum state weather conditions for the Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) approach and landing on Runway 18 Right, as well as Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach and landing on Runway 18 Left, which is 400m.
“Nonetheless, the British Airways (BA) company requirement for approach and Landing on runway 18 Right using PBN is 1800m as against the prevailing visibility of 1500m.
”It should be noted that all other foreign operators including Emirates, Delta, KLM, Lufthansa, etc landed on the same runway in similar weather conditions.
“It should also be noted that BA, despite the above diversion, has been operating into Lagos daily using the ILS CATII on Runway 18 Left with the same prevailing weather conditions.
“Therefore, these diversions are avoidable based on existing facilities.
“The newly installed CAT III ILS was implemented to forestall situations like this.
“As it stands, arrangements have been concluded for the commencement of flight calibration navigational facilities nation from the 16th of January, 2020, ” it said.
NAMA reassured all airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remained safe for air travel.
It said the agency was also working assiduously toward continuously upgrading its navigational infrastructure in line with ICAO standards and recommended practices.