The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has denied reports that it has abandoned the implementation of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation and exposed its personnel to the COVID-19
Responding to a statement from the Aeronautical Information Management Association of Nigeria (AIMAN) alleging that NAMA management has neglected the implementation of the AIS automation, thereby exposing personnel to Covid-19 pandemic, the General Manager, Public Affairs, Khalid Emele, said the allegations are false.
He said the joint pilot briefing offices where the AIS automation will operate from are simultaneously being installed with eight offices fully completed as another batch of equipment for installation landed on the seaport and is being cleared in Lagos.
“The AIS Automation contract was signed since 2009 and without prejudice to previous efforts, we would like to state that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the dedicated leadership of the Honourable Minister, Hadi Sirika has made remarkable interventions targeted at actualising the project. These interventions came by way of granting and approval of funding for the project which never happened in the past. The agency on its part has never relented in its bid to actualize this dream. For instance, the installation of VSAT nodes necessary for the transmission of data to remote locations is currently ongoing with 8 important nodes already running.
“The joint pilot briefing offices where the AIS automation will operate from are simultaneously being installed with eight offices fully completed. Just recently, another batch of equipment for installation landed on 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. It is pertinent to note that the ongoing project is huge and all-encompassing and will soon be completed,” Emele said.