The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) today successfully demonstrated capacity to transition into from a terrestrial based navigation system to a satellite based system through the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) through Nigeria’s NIGCOMSAT-1R Communication Satellite.
The SBAS demonstration flight using NAMA’s King 350i with ANGA Signal-in-Space ( SIS) provided via NIGCOMSAT-1R Communication Satellite which took place today at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport ( NAIA) witnessed by contingents from navigation service providers Agence pour la Securite de la Navigation Aerienne en Afrique (ASECNA), EURO Control, officials of NigComSat successfully did a turn around with adequate data to show the precision of the flight.
NAMA’s calibration aircraft, Beechcraft King 350i aircraft commenced the demonstration flight at about 12.12 pm taking off at exactly 12.24pm and touched down at 12:39pm to synchronise its systems with the ANGA Signal-in-Space ( SIS) provided via NIGCOMSAT-1R Communication Satellite.
According to the Acting Managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA),Mr. Matthew Lawrence Pwajok, the SBAS flight was to demonstrate and assure and assess the ability of the system to guide aircraft laterally and also vertically on either takeoff on a flight enroute.
” With this level of flight we were able to see a high level of precision on guiding aircraft laterally either on take off, aligning on the take off track ,and also on initial climb and also on inbound track, the aircraft on arrival and landing. The guidance was very impressive, we were very impressed the systems were aligned, the level of deviation was minimal, it was able to bring the aircraft further down than even ground equipment.”
The SBAS provides augmentation for NAMA’s Performance Based Navigation ( PBN), a satellite based system which covers all airports in Nigeria providing lateral and vertical guidance for aircraft.
The introduction of the SBAS would improve on the accuracy, the integrity, the availability and continuity of the signal, and augments what the satellite does, hence with the new system air spaces can now have precision approaches
Earlier, the minister who was represented by Dr. Meribole welcomed everyone including sister agencies from Ghana, Kenya and others and called on stakeholders and navigation users to key into the use of the SBAS as it would reduce their cost.
He commended the agency on charge urging them to ensure sustainability of the current trajectory as well as urged the regulatory agency Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) to keep ensuring the necessary framework is strengthened to ensure this multi- national collaboration with other region is sustained.
Speaking during the demonstration, Director of Operations, ASECNA, Bakienon Louis who said a similar demonstration has already happened in Dakar, Senegal and Cotonou, Benin Republic said the concept was indeed laudable and would help integrate the airspace.
According to him, what is most important is the signal from the NigComSat stressing that some countries were already in partnership with Nigeria to use the signal.
He equally said there were redundancies as the aviation payload in NigComSat was not alone as another payload was out in another satellite as a redundancy.
On what becomes of the Instrument Landing System ( ILS) that currently provides navigational services Louis said,” You know that you don’t have ILS everywhere. When you go to many airports of our country with bad conditions you cannot land, it is a lot of money you are losing but with that we are not going to remove the ILS, we let them work with the new system when they attain the last, it would be the end we will not redo them.
” The SBAS will be everywhere.”
Also at the demonstration was the Directors General Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency ( NiMet), Captain Musa Nuhu and Professor Bako Mansur Matazu respectively as well as top military officers.