The Federal Government has deployed two automated mobile air traffic control towers to Lagos and Abuja airports as part of measures to boost air safety.
The state-of-the-art equipment, which cost the government N1.7 billion, will enhance good back up for conventional towers. Mobile air traffic control tower serves for navigation and air traffic control at provisional air stripes and other airports that do not have air control tower.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, flanked by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu and his counterpart in Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, among others, opned the two mobile towers in Lagos.
Sirika said NAMA had been proactive in the matter concerning air safety in the country. He further stated that during the unusual period of COVID-19 pandemic, the equipment was desirable.
The minister said that the investment, among others, into air safety were rarely noticed by the public, but President Muhammadu Buhari had been committed to improving air safety, hence the approval of N1.7 billion for the purchase of the equipment.
Sirika said: “The two mobile towers we are opening today cost us N1.7b. The Federal Government has done this to improve and boost air safety. It helps us to land safely from point A to B.
“These equipment are for Lagos and Abuja airports but they can be deployed to any airstrip or airport that lacks control tower. They are equipped with real time information system like weather, overflight to ensure smooth operations “.
NAMA last procured a mobile tower 26 years ago and the system had since packed up. A functional mobile tower provides emergency deployment where there are no fixed towers.
The mobile tower or modular are easily transportable self-contained modules configured off-site that provide elevated VCRs with equipment rooms, welfare and office facilities for temporary fits for smaller airports.
NAMA boss, Akinkuotu, said the two towers were acquired from France, even as two more are being expected. He said the equipment would be a good replacement for the control tower at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which is scheduled for rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and Airtech Aviation Support Services have opened a central database for the local aviation industry.
The database, christened AvianQDB, is first of its kind and would serve as a single resource point for available manpower, and general information about Nigerian aviation.
Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Airtech Aviation Support Services, Bukola Nzegwu, said the platform would provide industry professionals an opportunity to register profiles, upload certificates and licenses to be visible to prospective employers.
Nzegwu said certificates and licenses uploaded on the database platform would be secured in Digital Ocean’s cloud and could be retrieved online for personal use by professionals.
“The database will provide visibility for aviation professionals before prospective airlines and aviation companies. The facility will provide skill gap analysis between what the industry needs and available manpower. It will also help track job market trend.
“AvianQDB also has a unique feature that will send an email prompt to remind registered professionals when licenses will expire so as to ensure aviation professionals always possess updated licenses to operate.
“The platform will also serve as a depository of relevant local and international aviation information through feeds and links to aviation agencies,” he said.