The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has begun the test-run of its high profile project-the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (ADS-C/ CPDLC) in the nation’s airspace.
The test-run, which commenced last week at the Lagos Area Control Centre (ACC) was witnessed live by Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, Managing Director of NAMA, in the accompany of Capt. Usman Muhtar, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Engr. Saleh Dunoma, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The agency disclosed the development in a statement on Monday, adding that a successful log-on and communication with airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa Airlines and Emirates Airlines was activated to the admiration and excitement of the aviation CEOs.
Other airlines that have also logged on to the service include Arik Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Etihad Airlines.
The statement read, “Consequently, NAMA has issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) to aviation stakeholders worldwide including airlines, service providers and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the availability of ADS-C/ CPDLC in the Nigerian airspace.
“The AIC is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders on the commencement of the service in the country and also to highlight the benefits derivable from the use of the service, intended scope of the service as well as requirements for airborne equipment, flight planning and operations.
“Meanwhile, a successful Site Acceptance Test (SAT) has been conducted, just as a four-day site training of critical personnel including engineers and air traffic controllers drawn from both Kano and Lagos ACCs has ended in Lagos, preparatory to the actual takeoff of the service.”
Engr. Abdulsalam attributed the success of the project to the collective effort of staff of the agency, who he said, have toiled endlessly “to see to this wonderful addition to the digitalization of air traffic management in Nigeria.”
“It therefore behoves our indigenous airlines to tap into the service in order to take advantage of the benefits and deliverables of enhanced safety and efficiency that come with ADS-C/ CPDLC,”Abdulsalam said.
The NAMA boss further explained that the current test-run is in line with international best practices, to allow operators adapt to the new service and make necessary comments and observations, prior to full implementation scheduled for November 12, 2015.
He also revealed that a similar test-run at the Kano ACC would commence in a couple of days time.
In his own remarks also, Mr. Sam Munda, Sales Director of SITA France (System providers), congratulated NAMA for implementing ADS-C/ CPDLC in Nigeria.
He described the development as “a major plank in modern air traffic management”, adding that “with the new degelopment, NAMA has gone ahead to assert itself as a leading Air Navigation Service Provider on the continent of Africa.”
By Patrick Aigbokhan