The perennial recurrence of flight cancellations and delays owing to the harmattan haze phenomenon towards every year’s end may be a thing of the past, as the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has expressed readiness in landing aircraft at zero visibility while also revealing that it is installing Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) in no fewer than 18 airports nationwide to ensure safety in the airspace.
Managing Director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu made this known as he took reporters around the Kaduna Airport explaining what the agency has been up to there and what it intends to achieve nationwide given government support and the buy in of stakeholders.
According to Akinkuotu the country has Category 2 ILS’ and have bought 11 new ones which it would be putting in airports including Minna, Benin, Ibadan and some other places while using others recovered on other airports.
He said the Category 2 ILS is effective enough to bring down an aircraft from at least 100feet from elevation and visibility of less than 800metres up to 1000 feet.
He said,” We might also add that quite often we hear our pilots talk about what kind of capabilities we have in the harmattan and this system is a category 2 ILS which will bring us down to at least a 100feet to from elevation and visibility of less than 800 metres up to 1000feet which is quite good. “
“Our harmattans, they can be bad but I am sure that for 95% if not 100% of the time with an operable ILS Category 2 system we should be able to get it every time. So come December there should be no reason or no excuse.”
On replication Akinkuotu went on,” Government has tried, we have an order, contracts for 11 ILS, I know there is Lagos, Port Harcourt, Minna, Benin there is Abuja, Kaduna but they are 11 that are going to be installed. They are brand new but don’t forget that we are going to recover some items, Lagos has an ILS and I think Ibadan too is going to get from the new ones so whatever we recover, we will put them at some of the other airports. I would expect that over time when all of the assets are in we should be able to do not less than 18 fields.”
On the means of installation, the NAMA Chief executive hailed the dexterity of the agencies engineers stating that they have been doing quite a great job over the years even when underappreciated.
“I must say here that it was done by NAMA engineers which sometimes they are not given the kind of recognition they deserve. Contractors tell us that they fixed it but they (NAMA) engineers fixed it and they have done a very good job as we have calibrated it,” Akinkuotu said.