Senate worried over poor communication in the airspace

The Senate committee on Aviation is worried about the safety of the nation's airspace due to epileptic radio communication and navigation facilities.

The Vice chairman of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn Na' Allah during an oversight visit to Lagos, said there had been complaints by pilots of foreign and local airlines of difficulty in communicating with the control tower.

The Senate committee members said their visit to the Lagos airport was to confirm the complaints received from different airlines over the poor state of navigation facilities in the country's airspace.

Affected facilities identified include the localizer, the glide, runway 18-L in Lagos, very high omni-directional radio range both in Lagos and Kano, flight information range among others.

Senator, Ibn Na'allah said the fears of the pilots fears were confirmed during the Senate committee’s flight to Lagos.

He noted that the committee with the approval of the Senate President had been mandated to review the entire industry, find out how monies appropriated were used to address the problems of safety, critical facilities in the sector in the past four years.

Senator Ibn Na'allah blamed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA for failing to effectively oversee the sector as the regulator.

The Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Mr. Emma Anasi said the agency was aware of the problems and had been aiding flights in the airspace.

He cited paucity of funds as the major challenge in upgrading the facilities which had been in use since the 80's when they were installed.

On the scarcity of aviation fuel, members of the committee frown upon the discomfort passengers suffer on a daily basis due to delays and cancellation of flights occasioned by scarcity of fuel and pledged to address the issue with a sense of urgency.

They however blamed the problem on a cartel running the business.

After a tour of the new international terminal and navigational aids procured by NAMA, the Senate committee promised to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that necessary actions were taken to promote safety in the sector.

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