The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said its automation is fully on course contrary to reports on that.
The agency while responding to a press statement making the rounds in the media to the effect that the agency had abandoned the implementation of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation explained that th statement by the Aeronautical Information Management Association of Nigeria (AIMAN) where they body was quoted as saying that “NAMA management has neglected the implementation of the AIS Automation, thereby exposing personnel to Covid-19 pandemic”, is not true.
NAMA in their statement signed by the general manager public affairs, Mr Khalid Emele pointed out that, “nothing can be farther from the truth! While we use the opportunity of the World AIS Day celebration to congratulate our hardworking staff across the country for their dedication to duty, it is pertinent to put things in proper perspective for the benefit of unsuspecting stakeholders in the sector and the general public.
“The AIS Automation contract was signed since 2009 and without prejudice to previous efforts, we would like to state that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the dedicated leadership of the Honourable Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika has made remarkable interventions targeted at actualizing the AIS Automation project”.
Emele said the interventions came by way of granting and approval of funding for the project which never happened in the past.
He explained further that on its part, it has never relented in its bid to actualize that dream as the installation of VSAT nodes necessary for the transmission of data to remote locations is currently ongoing with eight important nodes already running.
Emele said: “The joint pilot briefing offices where the AIS Automation will operate from are simultaneously being installed with 8 offices fully completed.
Just yesterday, another batch of equipment for installation landed at the seaport and is being cleared in Lagos.
Following management’s desire to fast-track the automation project, the contractor was recently mandated to air-freight Kano and Kaduna master VSAT equipment for immediate installation instead of shipping. Kano VSAT is already up and running while that of Kaduna has been cleared to NAMA stores for immediate installation.
“Furthermore, the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) and AIS database have been manufactured and are ready for shipment
The point must also be made that management has vigorously pursued the training and retraining of different categories of AIS staff preparatory to the takeoff of automation. While several batches of personnel have undergone factory training at different times, other AIS staff have equally been trained at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria to ensure they are at par with their colleagues worldwide.”
The GM observed that the ongoing project is huge and all-encompassing, even as it seeks to address many gaps in the sector including the automation of AIS processes which had remained unattended to in the past.
Emele emphasised that with the current level of support from President Mohammadu Buhari and Senator Hadi Sirika as well as the avowed commitment of NAMA management, the AIS Automation project will soon be completed to the delight of all.