Austrian Ambassador visits NAMA facilities at Abuja Airport


June 14 (THEWILL) – The Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Thomas Schlesinger, alongside the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Pwajok, on Friday a tour of the NAMA facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The facilities visited include the Abuja Airport Control Tower, where the security tower equipment was first installed and is currently undergoing a software and hardware system upgrade. Schlesinger also toured the newly deployed ATC mobile control tower for surface movement and ground control.

He was also taken to the Abuja Radar complex, where he was amazed by the intricacies of air traffic control and summed up his visit as “a most memorable day of my life that I will never forget”.

The Ambassador commended Mr. Pwajok and his team for improving the safety, efficiency and economy of air navigation, by partnering with AVSATEL Communications Limited to provide air traffic management systems, communications, surveillance monitors and world-class weather systems in Lagos, Abuja, Kano. and the Port Harcourt Control Towers, as part of the Safe Tower project which has automated the provision of air traffic services at Nigerian international airports.

Speaking during the visit to the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Schlesinger said, “I am very touched by your responsibility here because the lives of passengers and the lives of military personnel in flight rest in your hands. And that’s something we always have to remember when you rightly remember the sad air crashes of 2005 and 2006 because at that time you didn’t have that safety critical equipment that has now transformed the system air navigation in Nigeria. So, it’s also very reassuring as individuals as we frequently sit on planes whether it’s Nigerian planes or other international planes, and it’s good to know that our safety is guaranteed. And I’m very grateful, very grateful. I am very impressed with the fine work you are doing.

Pwajok, while addressing the Ambassador who was accompanied by the Secretary of the Embassy, ​​Ms. Antonia Bierbaumer, and the Managing Director of AVSATEL Communications, Mr. George Eder, congratulated AVSATEL for providing the NAMA a highly effective and efficient piece of equipment which has significantly improved safety in the Nigerian airspace. over the years.

According to the boss of NAMA, “AVSATEL provided us with one of the best equipment ever, I must admit. One of the very first projects that brought Nigeria into the international limelight, with the provision of automated or electronic air traffic management systems in our control towers in 2007.

It will be recalled that Nigeria had already recorded a series of fatal plane crashes in 2005 and 2006 and the Nigerian government at the time intervened through the Safe Tower project which included weather sensors for weather reporting in real time and low level wind shear warning systems. The project provided air traffic controllers with increased capacity, through the electronic flight progress strip management system, as well as the associated voice and control communication system for ground-to-ground communication between control units air traffic control and for air-ground communication between air traffic control and aircraft in flight.

The integration of weather sensors that have been deployed airside at these international airports as part of the security tower project, providing real-time digital weather information, has significantly improved aviation safety – the lack of these critical facilities for the safety was partly responsible for some of the weather-related issues. air crashes in 2005 and 2006. It is a fantastic project and when it was delivered in 2007 no country in Africa had it and we are very proud to say that it was the first automated control tower system air traffic management across Africa.

The NAMA boss said the agency is legally responsible for providing air navigation services, including air traffic services, aeronautical information services, aeronautical communication services and search and aeronautical rescue, supported by the deployment of communication, navigation and surveillance infrastructures. He said the Agency is currently responsible for providing these services and facilities at 40 federal, state and private airports, as well as jointly used military airports.

NAMA MD closed the visit by highlighting some safety-critical projects that have been completed or are underway under the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, including the successful installation of Instrument Landing Systems, Category III, in Abuja and Lagos; successful installation of Category II ILS at 10 airports; successful installation of VOR Doppler at 10 airports; acquisition of a new in-flight calibration aircraft; as well as the ongoing deployment of surface movement radar at Lagos and Abuja airports; responsible for traffic sequencing of arrivals and departures in Lagos and Abuja; ongoing installation of Category III ILS at Kano, Katsina and Port Harcourt; deployment of the extended multilateration system in the Niger Delta and upgrading of the total nationwide radar coverage, etc.

Finally, Pwajok, on behalf of the Agency’s management and entire staff, thanked the Austrian Ambassador, His Excellency, Thomas Schlesinger and the members of AVSATEL Communication Limited for the visit.


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