The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has successfully split the Lagos Sub-Flight Information Region (Sub-FIR) airspace into two sectors to improve the quality of air traffic services in the country.
NAMA’s Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, announced the development on Sunday in Lagos.
Akinkuotu disclosed that the two sectors were the Lagos West Area Control Centre on 120.9MHz radio frequency and Lagos East Area Control Centre on 127.3MHz frequency.
He said the sectorisation, which took off at exactly 00.01 on July 19, was a culmination of a two-year strategic plan to achieve sectored operations in the Lagos sub-FIR owing to the then congested single radio frequency enroute control operations.
He noted that though sectorisation of Lagos had eluded NAMA for over 16 years, its actualisation was due to the commitment and determination of the staff.
Akinkuotu said the sectorising of Lagos became imperative owing to the increasing volume of traffic and the attendant challenges posed to both pilots and air traffic controllers.
According to him, in a bid to achieve this feat, the agency has put in place several measures to ensure its effective takeoff.
He listed the measures to include the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and a test-run of the procedures at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
“Others are the in-house training of needed manpower to boost capacity in the two sectors, enhancement of the required support facilities for ground-ground and air-ground communication.
“The update of the radar maps and database of the radar system; test-run of the radar system and radio communication equipment.
“The issuance of an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) supplement on May 9, to give airspace users 56 days notification as required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Part 14 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.
“Other milestones are the signing of Letters of Agreement with adjacent FIRs like Accra, Douala, and Lome; the signing of letters of procedures between Lagos-Abuja and Lagos-Port Harcourt.
“Development and publication of Nigerian enroute charts showing the delineation of the East and West airspace sectors and the conduct of safety assessment as well as a stakeholders’ forum,” Akinkuotu said in a statement.
He said that the immediate benefits of sectorisation included reduction in congestion on the available en-route control radio frequency, reduction of flight delays and reduction in fuel consumption, newsmen reported.
Akinkuotu was reported to have listed other benefits as reduction in Carbondioxide (CO2) emission, as well as increasing Air Traffic Management (ATM) capacity.