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Aircraft monitoring: NAMA installs radar at Abuja, Lagos airports

Aircraft monitoring: NAMA installs radar at Abuja, Lagos airports

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has installed surface radar system at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Acting Managing Director, NAMA, Matthew Lawrence Pwajok, made the disclosure during his speech at an event in Abuja.

The NAMA boss said the site acceptance tests for the facilities had been completed, noting that newly installed surface movement radar and ground control systems were deployed in Abuja and Lagos airports.

The new systems will allow air traffic controllers to monitor aircraft and vehicular movement during low visibility or nighttime conditions, improving safety and efficiency.

During the test, a Pwajok said NAMA representatives expressed satisfaction with the radar equipment’s performance and demonstrated confidence in its ability to enhance the agency’s operations.

This development is expected to bolster Nigeria’s aviation industry and ensure seamless air travel for passengers.

Pwajok said, “The surface movement radar can be used when aircraft land in poor weather conditions. In most cases the airport is shut down because pilots can’t see and can’t taxi so they would have to wait until there is weather improvement. But with the surface movement radar, we can guide aircraft on landing, to the parking gate, and, on departure; we can guide them from the parking gate to the runway for takeoff as everything is displayed on the console. The same way the radar sees aircraft in the air, this one will see aircraft and vehicles as they are moving on the ground.

“Surface movement radar would therefore enable the controller to see clearly that the aircraft is in the right link. It would enhance safety on the ground by preventing collisions between aircraft. The issue of delaying aircraft by waiting for the weather to improve will be a thing of the past,” he said.

The surface movement radar, he said, would boost Category III Instrument Landing Systems operations.

According to him, with CAT III, aircraft can land at zero visibility while the surface movement radar will enable the air traffic controllers to separate and control aircraft to the gate as well as those taxiing from the gate to takeoff very efficiently.

He said, “In Lagos, we had a major challenge of the tower being blocked by the Legend Hotel, Executive Jet, and aviation terminal. And that necessitated the deployment of the surface movement radar. So, with this, that problem has been solved. It has reduced stress on the air traffic controller as he can now see everything from the console.

He added, “Abuja, the Chinese terminal also blocked the tower and controllers can neither see the international terminal nor the presidential wing. At the moment we are using the mobile tower to augment the view. But with surface movement radar, we won’t need the mobile tower there anymore as every part of the airport is visible from the console.”

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