Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said that it has not abandoned the implementation of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) Automation contract which was signed since 2009.
The NAMA, through its spokesman, Kahlid Emele, is responding to a claim by Aeronautical Information Management Association of Nigeria (AIMAN) that the project may have been neglected as the officers are now exposed to COVID-19 pandemic.
Emele, while congratulating the AIMEN on the occasion of World AIS Day celebration, explained in a statement that that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the dedicated leadership of the Honourable Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika has made remarkable interventions targeted at actualizing the AIS Automation project.
These interventions, he said, came by way of granting and approval of funding for the project which never happened in the past.
He noted that the agency on its part has never relented in its bid to actualize this dream, adding that for instance, the installation of VSAT nodes necessary for the transmission of data to remote locations is currently ongoing with 8 important nodes already running.
“The joint pilot briefing offices where the AIS Automation will operate from are simultaneously being installed with 8 offices fully completed. Just yesterday, another batch of equipment for installation landed at the seaport and is being cleared in Lagos.
“Following management’s desire to fast-track the automation project, the contractor was recently mandated to air-freight Kano and Kaduna master VSAT equipment for immediate installation instead of shipping. Kano VSAT is already up and running while that of Kaduna has been cleared to NAMA stores for immediate installation. Furthermore, the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) and AIS database have been manufactured and are ready for shipment
“The point must also be made that management has vigorously pursued the training and retraining of different categories of AIS staff preparatory to the takeoff of automation. While several batches of personnel have undergone factory training at different times, other AIS staff have equally been trained at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria to ensure they are at par with their colleagues worldwide”, he said.
According to him, ‘the ongoing project is huge and all-encompassing, even as it seeks to address many gaps in the sector including the automation of AIS processes which had remained unattended to in the past.
“However, with the current level of support from President Mohammadu Buhari and Sen. Hadi Sirika as well as the avowed commitment of NAMA management, we are delighted to note that the AIS Automation project will soon be completed to the delight of all”, he added.