Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has faulted claims by Max Air that the incident that involved its aircraft, a B747-400, in Minna, which was conveying pilgrims from Saudi Arabia on Saturday, was partly due to the fact that the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the airport was ‘epileptic with unreliable signals’.
Max Air had in a press release signed by its director of operations, Capt. Ibrahim Dilli, attributed the unfortunate incident among other things, to the Instrument Landing System at the airport which he said was epileptic with unreliable signals.
One of the engines of the Max Air aircraft had brushed the runway on landing on Saturday at the airport ‘due to complex landing maneuvers’, according to the airline.
But the NAMA in a swift reaction, said even though, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is already conducting a reliable investigation on the incident, it had to let the travelling public know that ‘the reported weather on the day in question was 10km visibility in nil weather.
Khalid Emele, NAMA spokesperson added that the said Instrument Landing System was successfully calibrated early this year and there has been no report of non-alignment by the equipment from pilots since then.
He explained that other operators that have used the facility after the incident have not complained about the ILS malfunctioning.
“Thirdly, NAMA has made available other alternative approaches like the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach procedures and Very High Omni-directional Radio Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) approach procedures which are alternatives to the ILS.
“NAMA has absolute confidence in the ability of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to conduct a thorough investigation (which is ongoing), we are constrained to however put things in proper perspective for the benefit our airspace users and the flying public.
“The agency therefore wishes to reassure airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remains safe for air travel. In futherance to this, the Hon. Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on the 29th of August took delivery of a brand new Beechcraft 350 flight calibration aircraft to aid NAMA in the timely, regular and efficient conduct of flight calibration of its navigational facilities nationwide, in line with global best practices.