Airspace management to design flight maps for pilots, aircraft

The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr. Mathew Pwajok, says the agency is set to develop and publish Visual Flight Rule charts locally.

He made the disclosure at the 2022 World Aeronautical Information Service Day in Abuja.

Pwajok said the agency had been collaborating with the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation for the past two years in order to obtain required and suitable data that would form the bedrock of the chart.

An aeronautical chart is a map designed to assist in the navigation of aircraft, much as nautical charts do for watercraft or a roadmap for drivers.

Specific charts are used for each phase of a flight and may vary from a map of a particular airport facility to an overview of the instrument routes covering an entire continent.

Using these charts and other tools, pilots are able to determine their position, safe altitude, the best route to a destination, navigation aids along the way, alternative landing areas in case of an in-flight emergency, and other useful information such as radio frequencies and airspace boundaries.

According to the NAMA boss, in order to strengthen the technical capacity and expertise, a team of four airspace planners, as well as a team of six cartographers, will be travelling overseas for more training in VFR chart production.

He stated that an implementation team would be inaugurated with members drawn from the Aeronautical Information Management experts that abound in NAMA for the implementation of the AIM

He said it was the determination of the management to ensure a smooth and successful transition of AIS to AIM with a formal transition plan that will be instituted.

He said, “Some of the elements already completed in the transition include ICAO flight plan, digitalised AIP, digitalised charts, conduct of WGS84 surveys among others.

“The NAMA management has continued to ensure that the technical and professional training programmes of AIM were conducted at NCAT without hindrance.”

He added, “The management has also approved a training Course in Cairo for the acquisition of knowledge and skills in the development and production of VFR charts which is an Agency and national priority.

“We are aware of other areas that training is urgently needed and required and steps are being taken by the management to address those that have not been covered so far.”

He explained that management had taken note of deficiencies and inadequacies in various stations across the country and was already setting the machinery in motion for the resolution of these issues and the mitigation of some others.

According to him, AIS offices and units are fully covered in the rehabilitation drive to ensure a conducive working environment necessary for optimal performance by staff.

“NAMA is almost nearing the completion of the AIS Automation Project with the nodal installations in Lagos and Kano Airports as well as the training of the suitable personnel that are to manage the system on activation”

He explained that the Lagos end had already been activated while the Kano end was being prepared for activation, noting that the prefabs that were expected to house the e-AIM products and services had been installed in at least 15 airports across the country.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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