Minna Airport Crash: Our ILS functions optimally – NAMA

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has denied any complicity in the crashing of Boeing 747-400 with registration number 5N-DBK at Minna airport on Saturday, September 7, 2019, saying its Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the airport functions optimally.   

The airbus, owned by Max Air Limited, crash landed with over 500 pilgrims onboard who were returning home from Hajj.

But the airline’s Director of Operations, Captain Ibrahim Dilli, had attributed the unfortunate incident among other things, to the Instrument Landing System at the airport, which he said was “epileptic with unreliable signals.”

Reacting to the allegation by Max Air, the NAMA management said the said ILS at the airport was successfully calibrated early in 2019 and since the incident happened no pilots or other stakeholders who have used the instrument have reported or complained of non-alignment or malfunctioning by the equipment as Max Air alleged that signals from the instrument was epileptic that contributed to the crash of its airbus.  

According to NAMA, the reported weather on the day was 10km visibility in nil weather for aircraft.  

To  set the record right, NAMA has this to say: ‘’While we acknowledge that we have absolute confidence in the ability of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to conduct a thorough investigation (which is ongoing), we are constrained to however put things in proper perspective for the benefit our airspace users and the flying public.

‘’The reported weather on the day in question was 10km visibility in nil weather.

‘’Secondly, the said Instrument Landing System was successfully calibrated early this year (2019) and there has been no report of non-alignment by the equipment from pilots since then. Other operators that have used the facility after the incident have not complained about the ILS malfunctioning.

‘’Thirdly, NAMA has made available other alternative approaches like the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach procedures and Very High Omni-directional Radio Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) approach procedures which are alternatives to the ILS.’’

Reassuring airspace users and the general public of a safe air travel, NAMA noted that it recently took delivery of a brand new Beechcraft 350 flight calibration aircraft to aid timely, regular and efficient conduct of flight calibration of all its navigational facilities nationwide.

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