NAMA records nationwide successful test run of facilities

Space technologyPreparatory to the full implementation date of 12th of next month, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has achieved nationwide success in the ongoing test run of the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (ADS-C/ CPDLC) in the nation’s airspace. This is coming in the heels of another successful operational test run of the facility from the Kano Area Control Centre (ACC) at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano which commenced last weekend.

The Kano test run, which was witnessed by the Managing Director of NAMA, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, along with other directors of the agency involved successful log-on and communication with airlines such as KLM flight KLM597, Ethiopian Airlines flight ETH936, Saudi Air flight SVA977, Qatar Air flight QTR771, Air France flight AFR896 and another Air France flight AFR976. Most of the pilots were extremely delighted about the alternative means of communication in their various chats with air traffic controllers as they commended NAMA for the initiative.

Meanwhile, a successful Site Acceptance Test (SAT) on the equipment in Kano was conducted by NAMA engineers in collaboration with technical personnel from SITA Information Networking Computing BV (system providers), just as air traffic engineers and air traffic controllers drawn from Lagos and Kano ACCs have been assembled in Kano for operational and technical training which has already taken off at the airport.

With the simultaneous commencement of the test run of ADS-C/ CPDLC in Kano and Lagos ACCs, both of which make up the Kano Flight Information Region (FIR), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency is set for the actual takeoff of the service across the nation’s airspace beginning from 00.00hrs UTC on the 12th of November, 2015. Speaking in Kano, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam noted that Kano was “particularly very strategic to the ADS-C/ CPDLC project because of the preponderance of over flyers in the region who will mostly be using the service” stressing that “ Kano has less of terminal traffic but more of en route traffic and ADS-C/CPDLC enhances en route flight trajectories in the upper airspace. It is targeted at high-climbing traffic and long distance flights between Flight Information Regions. However, the service is also available for any aircraft that has voice communication challenges no matter the altitude. Aircraft in a state of emergency, if they are equipped, could log on and establish communication with air traffic controllers,” Engr. Abdulsalam said.

He therefore expressed confidence that “the introduction of ADS-C/ CPDLC will see more traffic gravitating towards the Nigerian airspace because of the enhanced safety and efficiency which the service provides.”

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