• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Runway protection teams to boost airspace safety – NAMA

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Managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam, has expressed optimism that the establishment of Runway Safety Teams at the four major airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, will enhance safety of air navigation in the country.

Abdulsalam said the training on the use of runway safety tool kits as well as the development and implementation of runway safety action plan would help in achieving this move.

The NAMA managing director made this declaration in Lagos, in a welcome address at the opening of a two-day Runway Safety workshop.

He said setting up of runway safety teams, which is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) initiated safety programme, would bring about collaborative decision making among various stakeholders involved in runway operations.

This, he said, is necessary for safety, efficiency and economy of flight operations within terminal areas and associated facilities at the airports.

Runway safety remains the most critical aspect of air safety, not only because the most critical phases of flight operations occur within the runway strip, but also because of the multiplicity of sensitive activities that take place within the airside, he reiterated.

The NAMA boss listed these activities to include takeoff and landing of aircraft; surface movement of aircraft; movement of operational vehicles; security personnel; Jet A1 vehicles; construction vehicles; airfield lighting; maintenance personnel; navigational aids maintenance personnel, aerodrome rescue; fire fighting vehicles; Air Traffic Control vehicles on runway inspection; wildlife; vegetation and bird control; search and rescue vehicles, as well as other various stakeholders operating therein.

In his remarks at the event, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), represented by Abdulahi Sidi, director of operations, said as a regulatory authority of the industry, the NCAA had put in place legal frameworks regarding runway safety and effort was being made to ensure full compliance that bring about zero accident and incident at the runways in the country.

Speaking at the event also, Henry Omeagwu, director of airport operations, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who represented FAAN managing director, said “his agency places premium on operational safety standards at the airports with special emphasis on runways, taxiways and aprons.”

The FAAN boss therefore called on all stakeholders to support the Runway Safety initiative.