Following recent complaints by stakeholders that landing and navigational equipment at most of the nation’s airports are obsolete, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has said that work on the provision of critical equipment on the airside of all the airports is at an advanced stage.
The agency said it was focusing on the provision of the facilities in order to ensure the safe landing and take-off of flights.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Yakubu Dati, explained that though the agency was working on the rehabilitation and expansion of airport terminal facilities across board, it deemed it necessary to give attention to landing aids, not only to meet the conditions for certification of the airports, but to enable flights take-off and land in low visibility occasioned by adverse weather situations.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria had two weeks ago described as worrisome the obsolete state of landing and navigational equipment at the nation’s airports, saying they were often responsible for the frequent delays and outright cancellation of flights by airlines.
The AON also alleged that communication systems and most Instrument Landing Systems at Nigerian airports were sub-standard, and in some cases, were so bad that they gave inaccurate signals to aircraft, making it difficult for airplanes to take off or land in some weather conditions.
But Dati stated that FAAN had commenced the installation of airfield lighting equipment at 13 airports and that work was at advanced stages in many of them.
He said the facility installed at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar had been test-run and was working perfectly.
Dati explained, “In order to urgently install all necessary landing aids, FAAN is working in collaboration with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the International Civil Aviation Organisation to ensure that the provision of critical navigational and landing aids and other airside facilities meet given international standards.
“I believe that by the time we complete the installation of runway lights in these 13 airports, flight cancellations due to poor visibility will reduce to the barest minimum and airlines can fly to these airports in the night. This is our focus and we are working hard to ensure that we meet the expectation of our airlines.”