The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) would be deploying four stand-alone JOTRON high-powered, Very High Frequency (VHF) long range communication radios, each to be installed in Lagos West and Lagos East as well as Kano West and Kano East Area Control Centres (ACCs).
Towards this end, the agency has conducted a successful inspection and Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) of the equipment in Norway. The exercise included physical inspection of the facilities and their technical specifications vis a vis the scope given by the agency. Also inspected was the sensitivity, selectivity, signal to noise ratio, power output as well as range covered by the radios.
Commenting on the Factory Acceptance Test, Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu who led the team to Norway expressed optimism that the new solution would not only offer options to controllers at any given point in time to discharge their duties efficiently and without hindrance but also reduce delays and controller workload. “When fully deployed, this new backup communication solution designed by NAMA is aimed at addressing Remote Control Air to Ground (RCAG) communication challenges in the upper airspace (ACC).
The four stand-alone radios by their design are totally independent and will not interface with any existing communication architecture already in use. With a range of over 260 nautical miles each, the radios would have sufficient overlapping of propagated signals to eliminate blind spots,” the NAMA boss said. He recalled that the agency had earlier addressed aerodrome and approach communication challenges with the deployment of new 10 watt JOTRON communication radios covering up to 200 nautical miles “even when we require only 60-70 nautical miles range for aerodrome and approach and as it stands right now our aerodrome and approach radios are perfect.” Capt. Akinkuotu also said the beauty of this new backup technology is that it can be used in case of satellite failure, maintenance of satellite or degradation of satellite integrity.