The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has taken steps for the replacement all the Very High Frequency (VHF) radios at 14 sites across the country. This is as part of efforts to boost the clarity of radio communication especially at the upper airspace.
These sites include: the eight existing remote sites in Lagos, Kano, Wukari, Sokoto, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Maiduguri and six new sites in Jos, Kaduna, Yola, Enugu, Benin and Calabar.
The agency said that machinery has been put in place to accelerate an ongoing programme geared towards the total upgrade of its radio communication infrastructure across the country.
This, NAMA said is to ensure that communication challenges experienced by pilots in some parts of the airspace are totally eliminated.
These VHF remote sites, according to NAMA are operated in a network which will have signal pattern that covers the entire Nigerian airspace, adding that the agency has taken delivery of the VHF radio equipment under the “Extended Range VHF Coverage” project and installation will commence soon.
Recalled that in 2018, NAMA deployed four stand-alone Jotron High-power long range VHF radios at Lagos East and Lagos West as well as Kano East and Kano West Area Control Centres (ACCs).
“This backup solution is targeted at addressing Remote Control Air to Ground (RCAG) communication challenges in the upper airspace by providing reliable backup in the event of loss of VHF radio communication on the main system,” NAMA said.
Also, the agency said that arrangements have been concluded to extend the range of the above stated long-range backup radios and that it was only awaiting the passage of 2019 budget by the National Assembly for implementation to commence, adding that when completed, the backup radios would also have sufficient overlap of propagated signals to cover the entire Nigerian airspace.
“As an agency, one of our overriding priorities is to provide reliable communication link between the air traffic controller and the flying pilot at all phases of flight and this we are continuously committed to doing,” the agency assured.
NAMA reassured airspace users and the general public that its radio communication infrastructure remains serviceable, just as it intensifies efforts to ensure that the quality continues to improve in line with international standards.