Nigeria: The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aireon LLC of United States on exploring the deployment of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system in Nigeria.
In a statement, its Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the ADS-B solution, which is a recognized next generation standard for surveillance and air traffic management, is a critical requirement in preparation for the implementation of the relevant elements of Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU).
Signing the MoU at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos last week, Akinkuotu said the ADS-B solution would ensure 100 per cent real time surveillance coverage of the Nigerian airspace.
NAMA, he said, was committed to exploring every opportunity and relevant technology to ensure safety of air navigation in the country in compliance with world best practices and regulatory requirements.
In a related development, the Capt. Akinkuotu has described the role of human factors in Air Traffic Management Safety as critical in the process of hazard identification and safety risk management.
Akinkuotu, who was a guest speaker and panelist at the just-concluded Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), Africa Conference and Safety Seminar, in Marrakesh, Morocco, listed the human factors to include environmental, organisational and job factors as well as individual characteristics, adding that they have direct impact on the individual’s behavior and could affect health and safety.
Delivering a paper entitled : “Human Factor and Safety,” Akinkuotu, who was represented by NAMA’s Legal Adviser, Mrs. Anastasia Gbem, said the introduction of technology does not primarily aim at improving safety, but to satisfy the demands for increase in service delivery. The technology, he said, maintains existing margins of safety.
He said in Air Traffic Management, any technological advancement deployed to improve the system capacity, if not properly interfaced through adequate training and orientation, would lead to operational error.
Akinkuotu said: “These technologies are introduced to increase ATM capacities,” urging Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Africa to continuously review work processes and procedures to further tighten the noose on vulnerability of mismatches in the interfaces between people and technology.
This, he said, has become imperative in order to effectively trap operational errors. He also tasked the executive leadership team to create a “zero-tolerance safety culture” to be embraced by all levels of the organisation.
Meanwhile, NAMA has been praised for its excellence in delivering expeditious air navigation services within the nation’s airspace. This is contained in a letter of commendation to Capt. Akinkuotu by the Airport Manager of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Justin Bell.
Bell said the airline appreciated NAMA’s efficiency in ensuring seamless, smooth and timely movement of aircraft across the Nigerian airspace, adding that the flight control team in the United Kingdom (UK) appreciated the agency for its excellence in air navigation service provision.