Sen. Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister
Posted by Sade Williams
The Federal government, during the week, Alistair safety with the acquisition and deployment of N1.7 billion mobile control towers for the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA)
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, who commissioned the two mobile towers in Lagos Thursday said, the Buhari government was committed to ensuring safety in the country’s airspace and had not denied the industry funds in this regard.
“The cost of these two mobile towers is N1.7 billion and it is geared towards improving safety of our operations which we take as key activity here in our ministry. The intent and purpose of the ministry and what we are doing is to ensure safety and efficiency of our sector without degrading and de-emphasizing issues of security and comfort”.
He said, the towers would be deployed to two airports, Lagos and Abuja as well deploy for use wherever it was needed in airports across the country.
“How very safe you depart point A and land at point B is our primary concern and is of primary importance. So this is an extension to that intent and purpose and so the amount of 1.7billion has been spent to procure these mobile towers, we would use it in Lagos and Abuja and if need be we would take them to locations where they do not have conventional control towers”.
Explaining the features of the facility, Sirika stated that they were, “so equipped, so modernized, so efficient and so very alive. It has everything that a control tower should have, it has real time weather, we have all of that approach and departure procedures and everything else and overflight that ensures smooth flight operations and air traffic management”.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu commended the Minister for his efforts in ensuring the need was taken before the Federal Executive Council meeting were approval was give for the funds to be released and purchase the towers.
Director Operations NAMA, Mr. Lawrence Mathew Pwajok, said the primary was to serve as a contingency, when there is a situation affecting the use of a existing control tower.
” And this can now be used to temporarily relocate the provision of air traffic control services to the mobile tower and this can also be moved to anywhere were you don’t have a control tower or if the control tower is affected by any nature disaster or assuming also the pandemic that we are also trying to get out off. If you have a case of an infection in the control tower you have to relocate the personnel and move the provision of that service to another location and this couldn’t have come at a better time than now so, this a strategic facility. This mobile tower will provide a strategic backup for any control tower”.”Secondly, we have an approval by the FG to do an upgrade of the existing control towers at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and PH, we call them the safe towers. Upgrading them would require a hardware upgrade and software upgrade and while doing that you will not be able to use the facility you are trying to upgrade so, this will provide a strategic contingency where we can relocate the provision of the air traffic services or the control tower services pending when the hardware and software upgrade of the four control towers”.
“The facility is far more advance than the older two that we have. One unique feature of it is it comes with voice communication system with the recording system for voice communication, intercom system for ground, ground communication and then three locations, one for ground control and then another working position for aerodrome control and a third position for approach control so, this can provide a one stop shop solution for ATC in the event that we have any contingency affecting the use of any of our ATM facility and we can rightly say, we can provide any Air Traffic Services in this in the event that any situation affecting the use of the existing ATM facilities in Lagos, Abuja, Kano or Port Harcourt or anywhere in Nigeria”, he added.
“The facility also has automatic weather system where you can adequately see the prevailing weather affecting the location where the tower is deployed”.