By Adekunle Williams
Lagos – The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says it has put machinery in place to accelerating the total upgrade of its radio communication infrastructure across the country.
The agency said this was to ensure that communication challenges experienced by pilots in some parts of the airspace were eliminated.
NAMA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Khalid Emele, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday.
Emele said NAMA had taken steps to replacing all Very High Frequency (VHF) radios at the existing eight remote sites in Lagos, Kano, Wukari, Sokoto, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Maiduguri.
He said the agency had added six new sites in Jos, Kaduna, Yola, Enugu, Benin and Calabar, making a total of 14 VHF sites spread across the nation as part of efforts to boosting the clarity of radio communication especially at the upper airspace.
“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,” Emele said.
According to him, in 2018, NAMA 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).
He said this backup solution was 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.
“Also, plans have been completed to extending the range of the above stated long-range backup radios and only awaiting the passage of the 2019 budget by the National Assembly for implementation to commence.
“When completed, the backup radios will also have sufficient overlap of propagated signals to cover the entire Nigerian airspace.
“As an agency, one of our overriding priorities is to providing reliable communication links between the air traffic controller and the flying pilot at all phases of flight and this we are continuously committed to doing,” emele said.
He, therefore, assured airspace users and the general public that NAMA’s radio communication infrastructure remained serviceable just as the agency was intensifying efforts to ensuring that the quality continued to improve in line with international standards.