Lagos Govt. Deploys Cessna Aircraft For Aerial Mapping of Metropolis

4th from left, Dr. Obafemi Hazmat, Deputy governor, Lagos State, flanked on the left by Capt. Tertius Van Wky,  pilot of the aircraft, and on immediate right by Dr. Olajide Babatunde, Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Enterprise, Geographic Information System (EGIS) and other officials of the State government


Posted by Sade Williams


The Lagos State Government has deployed a Cessna 406 aircraft for aerial mapping of the state.

The government said that the exercise was part of the state’s major component of the Enterprise, Geographic Information System (EGIS) upgrade, which is aimed at providing a digital mapping platform.

Speaking at the unveiling of the exercise at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos yesterday, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State said that the mapping would enable the government to plan adequately for the residents of the state.

He also said that the exercise would help in knowing the actual buildings and infrastructure in the state, while also helping to update its data base.

The aircraft with the registration number ZS-SSY from South Africa, Hamzat said would carry out the exercise daily for at least four and half hours daily for about six weeks, depending on the weather, while it would also fly at 4,500ft below the sea level.

Hamzat explained that the international standard is for a government to carry out mapping and survey of its area at least every five years, saying that the State Government was determined to make life more convenient for its residents, adding that the exercise would also be necessary for security.

He said: “The aircraft has a huge camera. When it flies it can capture a coin. It flies relatively low at about 4,000ft below sea level. The essence is for it to capture everything that is in Lagos state. It can go and come back. There are layers of flying. The essence for us is to know what is in Lagos. It has a glider that can capture water and land. It would be flying about four and half 4 hours daily, depending on the weather.

“We have done it before. Lagos like any other city is dynamic. What we had five years ago is not what you have today. The international standard is to do it every five years so that you can update your data base and everything. So, basically, what it does is that you are able to map every inch of soil in your land, various buildings where you have your allocations and sizes.

“The essence is to know the data of your state and what that does is to enable you to plan. What you cannot really measure, you cannot really manage it. So, the essence for us is to be able to measure every inch of Lagos and its size.

“For us, fortunately, census is coming up in March. If you have all those gladder information, you are able to map it with you census and it determines everything. It allows you to have enormous data to plan for your citizens so that you don’t globe in the dark.”

Hamzat, who said that the State Government had been carrying out the exercise since 2009, said that the government migrated to a bigger aircraft for more effectiveness and enhanced performance.

He enjoined Lagos residents not to panic when they see the aircraft pass through their domains, stressing that it’s for the benefit of all.

Besides, Dr. Olajide Babatunde, Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Enterprise, Geographic Information System (EGIS) and Planning Matters, said the project would lead to the mapping of the state’s lands.

According to Babatunde, after the successful mapping of the state, the government would also embark on surveying of the land.

He reiterated that the exercise was part of the projects of the enterprise geographic information system that the state was building to be able to solve some challenges bedeviling the state at the moment.

“What we are doing now is mapping and thereafter we will do survey. This will enable us to have our spatial data infrastructure complete.

“Currently, our land use data base shows that we have over 600,000 properties in the state. However, I know we have more than that. And you know if you don’t have title deeds plan, you cannot even go to the Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA)for building approval,” he said.

Besides, Capt. Tertius Van Wky, the pilot of the Cessna 406 aircraft said that the team had been carrying out the exercise over the years in various African countries.

He mentioned Mozambique, Kenya, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger and Rwanda as some of the countries the team had carried out the exercise in recent years, stressing that the project may span eight weeks, depending on the weather condition.

“With fine weather, it’s going to be about two months,” he said.



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