Wednesday , 6 July 2022
Mr. Mathew Lawrence Pwajok Ag. Managing Director, NAMA

Why Nigeria needs primary radar for civil, military aviation- NAMA tells NASS

  • Joint Aviation Committee lauds expertise of NAMA Ag MD
NIGERIAN Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has explained in details, the disadvantages of not having a primary radar system and has called on the National Assembly’s intervention for funding for the cost-intensive equipment as it would go a long way in checking illegal aircraft operations.

Ag. Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Mathew Lawrence Pwajok who made this known said the airspace managers have often come under criticism for not being able to see helicopters that do illegal activities in the country because they operate under secondary radar coverage without airborne equipment or transponders.

According to Pwajok, civil aviation uses secondary radar for coverage and the primary radar for the four International airports alone because of the power involved to keep the system up but that when operational, a primary radar has capabilities to detect flying objects whether it wants to be seen or not.

“The primary radar has the capacity to detect every flying object, whether it wants to be seen or not but unfortunately, it requires a whole lot of power and energy and all over the world, nobody can deploy a long range primary radar system. So for civil aviation they are deployed within very busy and complex airspace like Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

He however explained that in 2008/09 when the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) was being done,the military was supposed to also have its own using the Primary radar system but cost made implementation almost impossible.

” The challenge of not having a primary radar system is a very serious one. We have had instances where we were accused of not being able to detect helicopters that do nefarious activities and we don’t have a defence because If they operate within 60 nautical miles of any of the four International airports, they will be detected, that I can assure you but any operation outside this, if they switch off that radar equipment, we cannot see the target.

According to the Ag MD, civil and military aviation would appreciate the funding of a primary radar that would be total as both can interface on its usage and the benefits are humongous.

After his presentation, Chairmen Senate and House Committees on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi and Honourable Nnaji Nnolim along side other national assembly members took time to commend the Acting MD stressing that his expertise was phenomenal.

Other NASS members placed on record that his extemporaneous presentation and vast knowledge of the industry with regards navigation, surveillance and communication is incredible stating that they had seen two agency chiefs who knew the nitty gritty of their trade and could make positive impact.

They promised to look at all the issues raised and pledged support for some of the sensitive projects that could improve the nation’s surveillance.

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