HISTORY was made on Thursday as Nigeria successfully deployed its surveillance facility for area radar control from the two control centres in Lagos and Kano to allow for optimal flight operations by pilots within the airspace.
Eighteen flights operated by some foreign airlines such as Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air Portugal, Turkey Airlines, South African Airways, Egypt Air and Saudi Air took advantage of the new air traffic service that commenced midnight -00hr UTC as they were vectored on radar within the Kano flight information region.
Area radar control is air traffic control service provided for airplanes flying within the Flight Information Region (FIR).
This exercise kicked off simultaneously in Kano and Lagos.
The benefits of this new traffic management include increased airspace capacity, improved safety, reduced fuel consumption, reduced flight time and efficient flow of air traffic within the nation’s airspace.
Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, an engineer, who was elated by the feat, described the migration from procedural to area radar control as part of the dividends of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the aviation sector as being promoted by the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah.
The NAMA boss, who commended the initiatives of the previous leaders of the agency over their foresight in conceptualising the idea of Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), equally applauded the efforts of the regulatory agency – NCAA – for ensuring the smooth take off of the new air traffic service.
The launch in Lagos attracted distinguished aviators from within and outside the country among whom were Emperor Oladunjoye Onasanya, a former Managing Director of the agency, Alhaji Abdulkareem Rahim, a former Director of Operations, NAMA, Sam Olu Akerele, a former General Manager, Macaulay Oyeneke, former Air Space Manager, Abuja, Albert Taylor, Director of Air Traffic Services, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and his Chief of Facility counterpart, Osei-Bonsu Kwaning.