By Asowata Omonsuri
Lagos – The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has begun the process of splitting the Lagos Sub-Flight Information Region (Sub-FIR) airspace into Lagos West and Lagos East Area Control sectors.
NAMA spokesman, Steve Onabe, said in a statement on Sunday that the agency’s Chief Executive, Capt.Fola Akinkuotu, announced the split at a stakeholders’sensitisation forum in Lagos.
Akinkuotu said :”The process is in line with NAMA’s commitment towards enhancing quality of air traffic services in the country.
“It is aimed at reducing congestion on the available en-route radio frequency as well as increasing Air Traffic Management (ATM) capacity in order to manage the growing air traffic volume and simultaneously reducing delays within the Kano FIR.”
According to him, sectorising the Lagos ACC will bring about optimum utilisation of the airspace by reducing controller-pilot workload, thereby increasing efficiency and quality of service delivery.
Akinkuotu, who was represented NAMA Director of Operations, Gabriel Akpen, expressed optimism that the service quality of Communication Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) would also be enhanced.
The NAMA boss said the process would be streamlined in accordance with the provisions of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) consistent with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Standard and Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPs).
As part of the process, he said the agency was currently optimising the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio and also installing a high-powered stand-alone VHF radio as backup to the total VHF coverage of Nigeria.
Akinkuotu added that controller working positions on the ACC consuls were in proper ergonomic positions.
He disclosed that the agency had embarked on aggressive manpower training and simulation exercises in collaboration with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, to shore up capacity.
Akinkuotu noted that on-the-job training for air traffic control officers at Kano Area Control Centre which already had a running two-sector operation was in progress.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the Lagos Area Control Centre was created out of Kano Area Control Centre which hitherto controlled the entire Nigerian airspace in 2001.
It manages 15 subsidiary aerodromes within the southern sector of the Nigerian airspace including flights overflying the upper airspace.