This is just as NAMA has further broken down the reason for the Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) and how it’s deployment, with the input from others including airlines and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) would make zero visibility landing possible.
These were revealed during an oversight visit to NAMA where the NASS inspected its Air Traffic controllers Tower simulator, it’s mobile control towers in Lagos as well as the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) site.
Currently, NAMA has four (4) mobile control towers, two new ones and two refurbished mobile tower and is expecting two more.
The law makers led by Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi and Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji had argued that the safety critical equipment was too important not to be in all geopolitical zones for instant deployment in case it is needed.
Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Mathew Lawrence Pwajok had told the gathering that the mobile control tower was key to operations and had saved the situation a number of time especially in the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
” During the COVID we had a controller infected and we had to move outside the control tower to disinfect it and isolate people. The mobile control tower became strategic.”
” It is a very strategic as you cannot allow failure in air traffic management. Aircraft cannot stop mid air. We have had a few disasters like the Cantonment disaster and when a flight needs to land somebody has to control it. There must be contingency for all levels of services, air traffic management services must have contingency, there must be contingency for navigational equipment services. There must be contingency for communication equipment, there must be contingency for surveillance equipment and so on…
Honourable Nnolim mused that in the next budget or a supplementary budget the national assembly can make it possible for the procurement of more mobile towers particularly for Enugu and Owerri Airports.
Pwajok also explained the Category three Instrument Landing System ( ILS) to the NASS, stating that it would be easier for foreign airlines to key in but not so for domestic airlines as a lot of training and certification needs to take place as well as approval granted by the regulatory agency.
” For domestic airlines, there might be a challenge but for international airlines most of them are already operating the category 3 in other countries. . So for us CAT 3 is achievable but the domestic airlines must be encouraged to get approval from the NCAA both for flight crew training and certification, air traffic as well as operating manuals specifications for those procedures for them to be CAT3.
” It’s a low visibility operations procedure and it requires that NCAA approves any operator to do so.”
The NAMA boss said the agency has installed CAT2 ILS’ in ten (10) airports which can bring down an aircraft at 300metres and that as a matter of policy all local airports in Nigeria should have CAT 2 while all international airports have CAT 3.