The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has confirmed the quality of service of Navigational and Landing Facilities at the country’s airports, as it described information given by the Nigerian Air Traffic Controller’s Association (NATCA), as misleading.
The NAMA regretted that a press release by NATCA on the state of navigational infrastructure in the country which it said prompted the diversion on the 6th of January, 2020 of a British Airways London Heathrow – Lagos bound BA 075 flight to Accra was occasioned by the “degraded state of navigational and landing facilities due to lack of calibration”, was far from the truth.
“While we recognize and appreciate the right of our workers to clamour for better work tools and operational environment, the reality is that our navigational infrastructure nationwide is not in any state of degradation. Our navigational facilities are operating optimally but are awaiting flight calibration in line with NCAA and International Civil aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations and world best practices.
The idea behind the installation of CAT III Instrument Landing System in strategic airports in the country was borne out of the need to enhance safety, efficiency, access and seamlessness of flight operations in our airspace especially during the harmattan season.” explained NAMA.
The agency said he prevailing weather condition in Lagos of 1,500m is within the approved minimum state weather conditions for Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach and landing on Runway 18 Right as well as Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach and landing on Runway 18 Left which is 400m.
“Nonetheless, the British Airways (BA) company requirement for approach and Landing on runway 18 Right using PBN is 1800m as against the prevailing visibility of 1500m. It should be noted that all other foreign operators including Emirates, Delta, KLM, Lufthansa, etc landed on the same runway in similar weather conditions. It should also be noted that BA, despite the above diversion, BA has been operating into Lagos daily using the ILS CATII on Runway 18 Left with the same prevailing weather conditions. Therefore, these diversions are avoidable based on existing facilities.
The newly installed CAT III ILS was implemented to forestall situations like this.
As it stands, arrangements have been concluded for the commencement of flight calibration navigational facilities nation from the 16th of January, 2020.” it said.
The NAMA, reassured all airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remains safe for air travel even as the agency is working assiduously towards continuously upgrading its navigational infrastructure in line with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.