NAMA Rejects Max Air Claim On Epileptic Equipment For Near Crash

Yemisi Izuora 

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has rejected claims by Max Air Ltd that obsolete equipment was responsible for the incident involving its aircraft, a Boeing 747-400 with registration No. 5N-DBK at Minna airport on Saturday, the 7th of September, 2019.

In a press statement, the airline’s director of operations, Capt. Ibrahim Dilli attributed the unfortunate incident among other things, to the Instrument Landing System, ILS, at the airport which he said was “epileptic with unreliable signals.”

The NAMA acknowledged that while it has absolute confidence in the ability of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to conduct a thorough investigation (which is ongoing), the agency is constrained to put things in proper perspective for the benefit airspace users and the flying public.

NAMA said the reported weather on the day in question was 10km visibility in nil weather and the Instrument Landing System was successfully calibrated early this year {2019} and there has been no report of non-alignment by the equipment from pilots since then. 

Other operators that have used the facility after the incident have not complained about the ILS malfunctioning, it said.

NAMA also said it has made available other alternative approaches like the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach procedures and Very High Omni-directional Radio Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) approach procedures which are alternatives to the ILS.

The agency therefore reassured airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remains safe for air travel. 

In futherance to this, the Hon. Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on the 29th of August took delivery of a brand new Beechcraft 350 flight calibration aircraft to aid NAMA in the timely, regular and efficient conduct of flight calibration of its navigational facilities nationwide, in line with global best practices.

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