Nigeria airspace would have full aerial radar coverage from today as it migrates from procedural air traffic control to aerial radar control.
Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, at a briefing at the agency’s corporate head office, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, explained that the new aerial control would have stations in Lagos and Kano, stressing that Lagos would control the south while Kano would serve the northern part of the country.
Udoh said apart from the system providing seamless transfer of pilots from one radar control to another as aircraft flew from its departure to destination, it would also provide seamless communication between the controller and the pilot from take-off to landing at the destination.
He said: “If you are taking off from Lagos, you don’t have to change your squak to Port Harcourt, Abuja or Kano. The controller will transfer you seamlessly to the next radar and maintain the same squak to land. “Squak is the code used by a pilot to communicate with the air traffic controller. Prior to this, we were having procedural aerial control but now, we are going to use surveillance aerial control.”
With the development, Udoh said, “Lagos-Abuja flight, which currently takes between 50 and 55 minutes, will be reduced to about 45 and 50 minutes.“And the seamless radar control will save the airlines fuel and money as well as reduce carbon emission.” He added that the agency had trained enough personnel to man the equipment and signed a five-year maintenance contract agreement with the manufacturers.
The agreement covers training of local personnel that would take over after that period.