Air Safety: NAMA, Ghana sign MoU on search and rescue

L-R: Matthew Lawrence Pwajok, NAMA Director of Operations, David Akuamoah-Boateng, Chief of Facility, GCAA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, NAMA MD, Thomas Kodjoe Duopah, Deputy Director, ATS, GCAA and Kofi Kpodji, Manager, ATM, GCAA at the signing of MOU with NAMA in Lagos.

Nigeria and Ghana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for effective synergy and collaborative cross border search and rescue around the common boundaries of the two nations.

The MoU was singed in Nigeria by the officials of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and officials of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at the headquarters of NAMA in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

According to information, the memorandum of understanding provides guidelines and procedures for collaboration on aircraft and weather/terrain information sharing, deployment of manpower as well as search and rescue equipment in the event of an incident or accident.

Also, NAMA signed Letters of Agreement with the GCAA team specifying procedures to be followed for tactical separation of aircraft between Lagos and Accra.

The Letters of Agreement cover how air traffic controllers exchange or manage the movement of aircraft across the two centres in terms of radio frequencies, the point at which to transfer aircraft as well as established boundaries and altitude for transfer of aircraft across the common borders.

 Also contained in the agreement are procedures of handling emergencies, transfer of aircraft using technical systems such as Controller Pilot Data Link (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADSC) as well as standard separation between aircraft compliant with that of the adjacent state. 

The information noted that the two countries also discussed the possibility of a partnership which would enable NAMA undertake the training of some of its operational personnel at the Ghana Civil Aviation Academy by virtue of its affiliation with renowned training institutions globally.

They also deliberated on the need for both states to share information on air navigation plans as this would ensure compatibility and interoperability of Air Traffic Management Systems to be deployed by each state.

While speaking at the signing, the Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu noted that as a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the meeting with Ghana was critical as it would enhance operational synergy and seamlessness, making for less gaps in air traffic management between the two adjacent states.

Captain Akinkuotu called for sustained interaction and cooperation between the two nations, saying that NAMA would continue explore ways to further ensure safety of air navigation within the region.

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