THE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said that its Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation is fully on course and has not been abandoned thus exposing its AIS personnel to the Covid-19 pandemic
NAMA in a reactionary statement signed by General Manager Public Affairs, Khalid Emele said nothing can be farther from the truth explaining that the AIS Automation contract was signed since 2009 and that the current administration has made remarkable interventions targeted at actualizing the AIS Automation project.
He explained,”These interventions came by way of granting and approval of funding for the project which never happened in the past. The agency on its part has never relented in its bid to actualize this dream. For instance, the installation of VSAT nodes necessary for the transmission of data to remote locations is currently ongoing with 8 important nodes already running.
“The joint pilot briefing offices where the AIS Automation will operate from are simultaneously being installed with 8 offices fully completed.
Just yesterday, another batch of equipment for installation landed at the seaport and is being cleared in Lagos.
According to Emele, following management’s desire to fast-track the automation project, the contractor was recently mandated to air-freight Kano and Kaduna master VSAT equipment for immediate installation instead of shipping. Kano VSAT is already up and running while that of Kaduna has been cleared to NAMA stores for immediate installation.
Furthermore, the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) and AIS database have been manufactured and are ready for shipment
He said, “The point must also be made that management has vigorously pursued the training and retraining of different categories of AIS staff preparatory to the takeoff of automation. While several batches of personnel have undergone factory training at different times, other AIS staff has equally been trained at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria to ensure they are at par with their colleagues worldwide.
It is pertinent to note that the ongoing project is huge and all-encompassing, even as it seeks to address many gaps in the sector including the automation of AIS processes which had remained unattended to in the past.