Anambra State Government on Friday assured every telecommunications company operating in Anambra lawfully, of its full support towards ensuring an enabling environment for their operations.
The Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, ANSPPB, Barr Chike Maduekwe disclosed this when he led officials of the Board to monitor the reduction of a mast at Umueri, constituting obstruction to safe flight operations at the Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport.
A letter from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had identified two masts, one on the approach to Runway 24 and penetrating the X surface and Visual Segment Surface, (VSS) and the other, within the Obstacle Free Zone (OFZ) of the ILS Obstacle Assessment Surfaces (OAS), as critical and constituting serious obstruction to safe Precision Landing Operations at the Anambra State Airport.
The letter, issued by the Director of Operation, Asifat Badmus dated 13th December, 2021, requested a reduction of a minimum of 25 meters in the height of the approach mast and complete removal of the one within the OFZ, for the ILS procedure for the runway to be possible.
The office of the State Governor had on the same date, written the American Tower Company, ATC Nigeria, owners of the facility, requesting the immediate reduction of the mast or its removal.
When the monitoring team visited the site on Friday, it was observed that dismantling of the tower members was ongoing and an engineer working on the mast.
Speaking after the exercise, Barr Maduekwe expressed government’s satisfaction with the way the company was cooperating with the directive, saying such cooperation is what government demands from every telco operating in the state.
Maduekwe however observed that there are a few telcos who do not want to get approval and are just digging up the lands, warning that very soon, the state government is going to bring them to the full embrace of the law.
“NCAA had written to the State Government that the tower is too high and disrupts safe flight operations and requested that the tower be reduced by at least 30 metres to ensure that the instrument landing systems works well and ensure passenger safety.
“The state government has been working with ATC and they have been cooperating and hopefully they will finish today.
“We are happy they cooperated because the alternative would have been to start bringing it down the mast but as a responsible government, we will not disrupt service at a tower because it is a critical national asset and bringing it down will disrupt service to everybody, banks, institutions and the airport.
“So, we are just here to ensure that they are heeding directives and as you can see, they are,” he said.
The Supervising Engineer on site, Andrew Ekemuje said they were contacted by government that the tower be reduced and they had also seen the need, hence their decision to embark on the reduction.
“We have observed that the tower is close to airplanes as they fly past.
“As a responsible company, we are doing what we need to do to ensure that our operations do not constitute a hindrance to the smooth running of the airport,” he assured.