By Chinelo Obogo
Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mathew Pwajok, has said that all airports in Nigeria except two, have instrument landing facilities that are operating based on Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), hence, the term ‘sunrise’ or ‘sunset airports’ is misplaced.
Pwajok who was part of the panel of discussants at the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), which held in Lagos recently said the IFR is not based on Visual Flight Rules (VFR) where pilots are required to visually approach and land within sunrise to sunset time.
He insisted that all Federal and State Government owned airports in the country have navigational aids, and Satellite Based Performance Based Navigation procedures that can enable operation at any time of the day.
“NAMA has invested heavily on navigational facilities more than any other facilities. Apart from Owerri and Calabar where the agency is working to install Category II Instrument Landing systems (CAT II ILS), and Jalingo that has no instrument landing system for now, basically all airports in Nigeria have a minimum of CAT II ILS, most of which were installed brand new, so there is nothing like obsolete navigational facilities.
“In fact, apart from one or two private aerodromes, all federal and state government owned airports managed by NAMA are equipped with Instrument Landing System (ILS), except where they are temporarily unserviceable or the Runway and Approach lights are unserviceable, but nevertheless you cannot refer to them as sunrise or sunset airports.
“NAMA is a 100 per cent self-funded government agency providing air navigation services at federal, state and private airports in Nigeria at increasing cost and is also required to remit 25 per cent of her gross revenue to the federation account. It is uneconomical for the agency to operate beyond 12 hours daily at a domestic airport just for a single flight. We are assuring airline operators that NAMA has and would always grant extension of operational hours when the need arises,” he said.