Towards improving landing at Lagos and Abuja airports, the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu has said that Category 3A Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) will be installed at the Lagos and Abuja airports.
The new equipment, according to Akinkuotu at an interactive forum organised by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos, will enable aircraft to land, even if the pilots are unable to establish visual contact with the runway due to bad weather. ILS does this by transmitting radio signals.
A Category 3A approach is a precision instrument approach and landing with no decision height or a decision height lower than 100ft (30m) and a runway visual range not less than 700ft (200m).
He said the imminent ILS upgrade at the two busiest airports in Nigeria, are part of the plan to embark on aggressive deployment of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) infrastructure this year, to further boost the safety of air travel in the country.
Akinkuotu said the deployment of the hi-tech equipment would ensure that aircraft land can land in zero-zero visibility given the adverse weather at certain times of the year.
Besides that, he added that another challenge is the billions of debt incurred by the airlines, which is affecting operations of the airspace management agency.
Akinkuotu said NAMA remains committed to enhancing safety and efficiency, by installing communication radios in strategic areas in the country, as well as upgrade of existing ones, deployment of ILS and other navigational aids across the country.
A brand new ILS and a Doppler Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (DVOR) have been installed and calibrated in Kano. Other areas of progress according to the NAMA boss include improvement in Air Traffic Control (ATC) capacity through training and retraining of critical personnel and others, addressing depleting ATC manpower, enhanced staff welfare through implementation of harmonisation of salaries and the signing of new condition of service, which is awaiting approval by government.