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Nigeria’s bold attempt to migrate from terrestrial air navigation to a satellite based navigation system, known as Performance Based Navigation (PBN) has received a boost as two foreign airlines tested the new approach procedures with their pilots landing successfully at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
Emirates Airlines was first to carry out the approach test on Global Navigation Satellite System [GNSS] in Lagos while KLM recorded same in Kano.
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airport are listed among the first four major airports in the country to undergo the pilot scheme.
To operate on GNSS, aircraft are expected to be equipped with necessary prescribed gadgets on board for easy link with the satellite for seamless navigation and communication to designated airports.
The pilots of the two foreign airlines, while making approaches to land at these airports, had little or no contact with the air traffic controllers except that they were under close watch and monitoring on the radar.
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr Mazi Nnamdi Udoh described the development as a great achievement in the current drive of transforming the nation’s aviation industry by the Federal Government.
‘’With the success recorded in our quest of moving from terrestrial to satellite based air navigation system, Nigeria has joined the league of big countries that are already operating the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s endorsed air navigation programme’’, Udoh remarked.
The NAMA boss explained that the operation of the PBN would save cost for the airlines as they would burn less fuel during take- off and landing, reduce carbon dioxide emission and air traffic controllers’ workload.
NAMA commenced the transformation with the completion of the N360million World Geodetic Survey (WGS-84) of the country’s 22 airports and the procedural design of the four major airports in 2010.
Controllers, Pilots, Nigerian Civil Aviation [NCAA],Nigerian Air Force[NAF],Nigerian College of Aviation Technology [NCAT] and the Presidential fleet.
They are being trained by a PBN expert, Ed Hajek from the International Air Transport Association [IATA], Montreal, Canada.
NAMA is billed to train about 250 air traffic controllers on the PBN system.
The ICAO had in 2007 endorsed the implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in its Assembly Resolution 36/33 for all member States of which Nigeria is a member.
NCAA and NAMA have worked together with the Boeing Company and International Air Transport Association (IATA) respectively to achieve this feat for Nigeria’s PBN implementation.Share