NAMA Refutes Claims of Nigerian Airspace Lacking Radar Coverage

In a detailed statement, the Managing Director of NAMA, Umar Farouk, labeled the claims as "false and misleading," affirming that the radar services in major cities, including Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt, are fully operational

Lagos, Nigeria – The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has strongly refuted claims that the country’s airspace is not adequately covered by radar.

This clarification comes in the wake of a television interview featuring journalist David Hundeyin on News Central, which suggested significant gaps in Nigeria’s radar coverage.

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In a detailed statement, the Managing Director of NAMA, Umar Farouk, labeled the claims as “false and misleading,” affirming that the radar services in major cities, including Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt, are fully operational.

Farouk emphasized that these systems are currently undergoing an upgrade to enhance their efficiency but are nonetheless serviceable and effective in their current state.

Robust Radar Systems in Major Hubs

NAMA’s statement underlines that radar services for both terminal and enroute flights are operational and provide necessary air navigation services to airspace users.

“The radar stations in Nigeria (Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt) are serviceable,” Farouk asserted.

This includes the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) system, which, like many electronic systems, is undergoing software upgrades and modernization to meet growing demands for efficient air traffic management.

The TRACON system is a critical component of air traffic control, providing radar surveillance and navigational support to aircraft within a specific range of airports. Its ongoing modernization aims to enhance the safety and efficiency of air travel in Nigeria.

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Addressing Unfounded Claims

The agency’s response was particularly pointed at dispelling myths that have emerged from the News Central report. “The agency hereby wishes to state that the claim that the Nigerian airspace is not covered by radar is false and misleading,” Farouk reiterated.

He also pointed out that the welfare of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers is well-maintained, countering suggestions that their salaries and allowances are among the lowest globally.

In addressing the welfare of its staff, NAMA highlighted that it prioritizes sustainable welfare packages for its employees, especially Air Traffic Controllers.

This commitment ensures that the personnel responsible for managing Nigeria’s airspace are well-compensated and motivated, contrary to claims made in the media report.

Misconceptions About Unidentified Aircraft

Farouk’s statement also clarified issues regarding the terminology of “unidentified aircraft” used in the report.

He explained that in aviation security parlance, this term refers to aircraft whose specifics are known to Air Traffic Control (ATC) but are not disclosed publicly for security reasons.

He noted that a recent incident cited in the report involving an aircraft that strayed due to severe weather conditions was handled within standard operational procedures.

“The reported unidentified aircraft is a security terminology. In real terms, the aircraft in question is known, but only to the ATC. The violation was in the interest of safety, as a result of adverse weather (serious thunderstorm) on the said date,” he elaborated.

Ensuring Airspace Safety and Security

NAMA emphasized its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian airspace. The agency boasted of robust civil and military coordination and collaboration that guarantees secured air navigation.

This includes adhering to guidelines and directives issued by regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to prevent unauthorized entry into restricted areas.

“It is obvious that the journalist in question does not understand the workings of the surveillance systems, hence his misconstrued and misguided information on primary and secondary radar,” Farouk remarked.

NAMA expressed its willingness to provide accurate information about its services to anyone requiring it, highlighting its dedication to transparency and public education.

Continuous Improvement and Modernization

NAMA’s ongoing efforts to upgrade the TRACON system reflect a broader commitment to improving the country’s aviation infrastructure.

These upgrades are part of a continuous process to ensure that Nigeria’s air traffic management systems remain at par with global standards. This modernization is essential to handle the increasing volume of air traffic and the evolving complexities of air navigation.

Farouk underscored that the modernization efforts are not indicative of current inadequacies but are proactive measures to enhance the existing capabilities of Nigeria’s air traffic control systems.

This approach ensures that the country can accommodate future growth in air travel and maintain high safety standards.

Transparency and Public Assurance

In light of the controversy stirred by the News Central report, NAMA has reiterated its dedication to maintaining an open dialogue with the public and media.

The agency’s readiness to volunteer information underscores its commitment to transparency.

Farouk’s statement aims to reassure the public and stakeholders that Nigerian airspace remains safe and secure, supported by effective and efficient radar coverage.

“NAMA remains committed to her responsibility to provide safe, effective, economical, and efficient air navigation services in Nigeria,” Farouk concluded. The statement from NAMA is a robust defense of the agency’s operations and an assurance of the safety of Nigeria’s airspace.

The Broader Context

The controversy over radar coverage in Nigerian airspace touches on broader themes of aviation safety, technological advancement, and public trust in air traffic management.

As Nigeria continues to develop its aviation infrastructure, maintaining transparent communication with the public and addressing any misconceptions promptly is crucial.

The debate also highlights the importance of accurate reporting and understanding complex technical systems.

Misinformation can have significant implications for public perception and confidence in aviation safety. Therefore, it is essential for media reports to be based on verified facts and a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

Conclusion

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s firm response to the recent claims about radar coverage in Nigeria serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of robust and effective air traffic control systems.

With the TRACON system’s ongoing modernization and a clear commitment to staff welfare and operational transparency, NAMA aims to ensure that Nigeria’s airspace remains among the safest and most secure in the region.

As NAMA continues its modernization efforts, the agency’s focus remains on providing top-tier air navigation services, maintaining safety standards, and ensuring public confidence in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

The agency’s response underscores its commitment to these principles and its readiness to address any concerns transparently and effectively.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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