• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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NAMA has complete radar footages of aircraft that hovered over presidential villa – NCAA

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) affirms that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has complete radar footages of the two aircraft that recently flew into prohibited areas.

The authority also said NAMA had full details of the identities of the aircraft and operators involved.

Read also: Why ‘unidentified’ aircraft hovered over presidential villa – NAMA

The NCAA said this was only made possible due to functional Primary and Secondary Surveillance Radars in Abuja. Similar installations are in Lagos, Kano and Port-Harcourt.

The NCAA had recently issued warning to aircraft owners and operators to avoid flying to prohibited areas after an aircraft was seen hovering around the presidential villa.

The NCAA stated that in keeping with its regulatory responsibilities issued an All Operators Letter (AOL DGCA/021/24) wherein the term ‘unknown aircraft’ was used as reported to NCAA which is the normal security terminology.

The NCAA in a statement stated that its attention has drawn to statements insinuating that the Nigerian airspace is insecure due to lack of coverage by Radar.

“NCAA firmly aligns with the statement from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on the Total Radar Coverage Of Nigeria (TRACON).

“In furtherance to this, NCAA investigated two recent cases of violation of the prohibited flights zones – DNP4 – in Abuja and established that both violations comprised of controlled flights in a controlled airspace, but strayed into restricted airspace as a result of adverse weather.

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“However, as explained above, investigations revealed NAMA had complete footages and details of the aircraft that entered the prohibited flight zone. The writer, obviously, not conversant with the technical operations of radar systems ought to have simply consulted the right professionals to be educated accordingly,” the NCAA stated.

The NCAA furter explained that the Primary Surveillance Radar alone only identifies aircraft as moving targets without aircraft identity, while the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), on the other hand, which forms a major component of the TRACON, is the equipment that allows for identification of any aircraft equipped with ATC Mode ‘S’ transponder.

“The requirement for all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to have serviceable ATC transponders in an international standard that Nigeria ensures strict adherence to. This requirement derived from Annex 6 to the Convention on International Aviation is documented in Part 7 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

“This, therefore, makes it a violation of the regulations, and indeed a security breach, for any aircraft to put this system off while flying in controlled airspace, and such action would attract appropriate sanctions in accordance with NCAA’s enforcement procedures, including possible criminal referral,” the NCAA explained.

On the issue of welfare of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs), NCAA said it had, only recently, intervened in a face-off between ATCOs and NAMA on the need for improved remuneration and working conditions for ATCOs.

As regards the improvement of Nigeria’s aviation infrastructure, the NCAA said the Nigeria’s Radar coverage is being backed up with five additional MSSR stations at Obubbra, Ilorin, Talata Mafara, Maiduguri and Numan to augment the four existing Radar centers to achieve total coverage of the country.

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