In order to improve in service delivery and safety, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has put in place the necessary logistics to commence area radar control in the country.
The Managing Director of the agency, Nnamdi Udoh, explained that area radar control is air traffic control service, provided for airplanes flying within the Flight Information Region (FIR).
According to him, a considerable number of air traffic controllers have been trained to handle this operation at both Kano and Lagos area control centres for flight operations within the nation's airspace.
Addressing airline pilots at a parley in Lagos, Udoh disclosed that Friday, February 22, 2013 has been slated for the test run with the operating airlines while Friday, April 12, 2013 would be the implementation day.
While asking for the cooperation of the pilots, the NAMA boss said the regulatory agency, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was being carried along to give approval for the immediate implementation of this air traffic service to airlines.
He listed benefits to be derived from the area radar control to include increased airspace capacity, improved safety, reduced fuel consumption, reduced flight time and efficient flow of air traffic.
Udoh disclosed that other steps taken by NAMA to enhance air safety in the country were in the area of uninterrupted power supply to navigational aids at the nation's airports, maintenance as well as rapid training and retraining of staff.
He maintained that the essence of the parley was "to create a no-holds-barred forum with airline pilots" where all problems and challenges arising from their flight operations could be x-rayed and possible solutions proffered even as NAMA, is poised to provide a world class service with minimal incident and zero accident record.
In his remarks, the MD of Overland Airlines, Edward Boyo, congratulated NAMA boss for the unprecedented transformation going on in the agency like the TRACON project and the recent airfield lighting at runway 18 left at MMIA, saying " that Nigerian pilots are happy to be associated with the dynamism of the Managing Director of NAMA and the massive development going on at airports across the country".
Earlier in his address, an industry expert, Group Capt John Obakpolor (rtd), affirmed that NAMA had made tremendous improvement in service delivery under the leadership of Mr. Udoh, adding that NAMA had moved away from analogue era to digital service delivery.
He enjoined airline pilots to take advantage of the feedback channels and hotlines provided by the agency and make complaints as well as provide on the spot reports of challenges they encounter in the course of their flight operations as this would further enhance NAMA's service delivery profile.
He advised pilots to remain steadfast as NAMA under the dynamic leadership of Udoh, is working hard to boost the confidence in air travel.
A star actress in the Nigerian movie industry, Benita Nzeribe, a Nollywood ambassador for air safety, who was a special guest at the event remarked, that while there was room for improvement, the dynamism which the Udoh has brought to bear on NAMA leadership has brought a lot of confidence in the flying public and that air safety was particularly important to Nollywood stars because the urgency of their job made air transport indispensable.