The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) say it has started a process to accelerate an ongoing programme geared towards the total upgrade of its radio communication infrastructure across the country.
This is to ensure that communication challenges experienced by pilots in some parts of the airspace are eliminated.
As part of efforts to boost the clarity of radio communication especially at the upper airspace, the agency said in a statement yesterday that it has taken steps to replace all the Very High Frequency (VHF) radios at the existing eight remote sites in Lagos, Kano, Wukari, Sokoto, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Abuja, and Maiduguri. It also added six new sites in Jos, Kaduna, Yola, Enugu, Benin and Calabar making a total of 14 VHF sites spread across the nation.
These VHF remote sites are operated in a network which will have signal pattern that covers the entire Nigerian airspace. The agency has taken delivery of the VHF radio equipment under the ‘Extended Range VHF Coverage’ project and installation will commence soon.
In 2018, NAMA said it deployed four stand-alone Jotron High-power long range VHF radios at Lagos East and Lagos West as well as Kano East and Kano West Area Control Centres (ACCs). This backup solution is targeted at addressing Remote Control Air to Ground (RCAG) communication challenges in the upper airspace by providing reliable backup in the event of loss of VHF radio communication on the main system.
Khalid Emele, general manager, public affairs, NAMA stated that plans have also been completed to extend the range of the above- stated long-range backup radios and is only awaiting the passage of 2019 budget by the National Assembly for implementation to commence.
Emele said when completed, the backup radios would also have sufficient overlap of propagated signals to cover the entire Nigerian airspace.
“As an agency, one of our overriding priorities is to provide reliable communication link between the air traffic controller and the flying pilot at all phases of flight and this we are continuously committed to doing,” Emele said.
“NAMA therefore wishes to reassure airspace users and the general public that its radio communication infrastructure remains serviceable just as it is intensifying efforts to ensure that the quality continues to improve in line with international standards.”