Hajia Binta Bello, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, has called for an enhanced and strategic collaboration between Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Air Force in the management of the nation’s airspace.
Bello who was represented at this year’s Airspace Management Seminar held at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, by Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, Managing Director, NAMA, noted that this kind of collaboration between the civil and military is needed especially now to ensure success in the fight against insurgency.
She stressed that the deployment of Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) along with other Air Traffic Management technologies by NAMA has greatly enhanced the safety and security of the Nigerian airspace.
Also, Engr. Abdulsalam said in a statement that the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance –Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (ADS-C/ CPDLC) by NAMA, would boost military reconnaissance activities as well as the discreet operations like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) This, according to him, is because the data link communication provides for a unique channel of communication for the exchange of messages between each aircraft and Air Traffic Control without other aircraft being privy to the conversation.
The NAMA boss therefore pledged the agency’s readiness “to support and partner with the military in the area of personnel training within the limits of available resources.’’
He also promised to fast-track the ratification of Standard Operating Procedures for the operation of UAVs in the Nigerian airspace by the civil and military authorities.
This year’s Airspace Management Seminar with the theme “Exploiting Airspace Dominance/Ubiquity in Counterterrorism/Counter-insurgency – Roles of UAVs and Radar Coverage” was attended by representatives from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian Navy.