The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has stated that the implementation of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) automation was on course contrary to insinuations in the media.
The statement that was allegedly released by the Aeronautical Information Management Association of Nigeria (AIMAN) was quoted as saying that, “NAMA management has neglected the implementation of the AIS Automation, thereby exposing personnel to Covid-19 pandemic.”
The agency said that nothing can be farther from the truth, adding that while it uses the opportunity of the World AIS Day celebration to congratulate its hardworking staff across the country for their dedication to duty, it is pertinent to put things in proper perspective for the benefit of unsuspecting stakeholders in the sector and the general public.
A statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Khalid Emele said that the AIS automation contract was signed since 2009 and without prejudice to previous efforts, it would like to state that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the dedicated leadership of the Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika has made remarkable interventions targeted at actualizing the AIS automation 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,” NAMA said.
NAMA stated that the joint pilot briefing offices, where the AIS automation would operate from are simultaneously being installed with eight offices fully completed.
It added that just yesterday, another batch of equipment for installation landed at the seaport and that is being cleared in Lagos.
The agency said that 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, the agency added is already up and running while that of Kaduna has been cleared to NAMA stores for immediate installation.
NAMA informed also that the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) and AIS database have been manufactured and are ready for shipment.
NAMA added that 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 and that several batches of personnel have undergone factory training at different times.
Other AIS staff, the airspace agency said 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, even as it seeks to address many gaps in the sector including the automation of AIS processes which had remained unattended to in the past.
“However, with the current level of support from President Mohammadu Buhari and Sen. Hadi Sirika as well as the avowed commitment of NAMA management, we are delighted to note that the AIS Automation project will soon be completed to the delight of all.”