Air traffic controllers in Nigeria have raised the alarm over the collapse of radio communication equipment in some of the country’s airports, saying the trend poses threat to air safety.
President of the National Airtraffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN), Mr. Nkambo George, who disclosed this said the malfunction of its radio equipment in some airports had culminated in the permanent use of telephone lines which ought to be deployed only as back ups.
George, who spoke to journalists yesterday at the Annual General Meeting of NACAN held in Benin City Edo State, disclosed that it was difficult for some stations to read each other beyond 9am and 10am in some cases.
In his words: “We resort to telephone, we are using this close user group telephone line which ought to be back up. It’s more or less the major equipment we are using now in most communication centres except for Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt where it is still functional.”
Normally messages are not supposed to be delayed, when you receive a message, it ought to go. ICAO recommends that three minutes at most five minutes, as you receive a message let it be sent out. So you receive backlog of messages in some centres as a result of equipment malfunction,” he added.
He noted that in some centres, the radios were not functioning at all, warning that the trend was not good for the aviation sector. But the management of NAMA has, however, assured that it was committed to the provision of relevant technology for its professionals to perform their duties.
Managing Director/CEO of NAMA, Capt Akinkuotu, who was represented by Mr Ayodele Otitolaye at NACAN AGM in Benin City, said NAMA will continue to provide modern facilities required to perform the task of Air navigational services in the country’s airports.