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February 26, 2024

Flight safety: FG set to implement satellite based augmentation system

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By Gabriel Agbeja

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, says Federal Government is ready to implement Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to enhance safety at all phases of flight.

Sirika made the declaration at the “ SBAS Flight Demonstration and Outreach Prgramme“ in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister explained that the implementation of SBAS would enhance accuracy, integrity, reliability, availability and continuity of air navigation service in continental, remote continental and oceanic airspaces.

According to him, the implementation of SBAS in Nigeria will help to survive the prevailing global economic and security challenges in aviation sector.

“The programme could not have come at a better time than now when the aviation industry is desperately seeking for safe, efficient and cost effective ways of recovering from the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Therefore, to support the aviation industry to attain full recovery and resilience, strategic measures must be implemented to enhance safety, efficiency, capacity, cost effectiveness, interoperability, seamlessness, access and equity, as well as environmental sustainability.

“ In the course of this workshop you will be enlightened on how the above strategic objectives can be achieved with SBAS implementation at all phases of flight,” he said

Sirika said the necessity for implementation of SBAS in Nigeria and the African region at large could not be overemphasized regarding the high cost of installing, maintaining and calibrating ground navigational facilities at less busy airports.

According to him, the African Union Agenda 2063 identified regional connectivity as the catalysts for the growth, expansion and development of the African Region.

He added that the African Union Commission (AUC) recommended the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) to facilitate the attainment of the Yamoussoukro declaration.

“The successful implementation of the SAATM is predicated on the implementation of the Single African Sky that will require the application of SBAS for a seamless airspace within the African region.

“Therefore, the planned demonstration flight and the brainstorming sessions that will take place during this event, will no doubt give further assurances on expected benefits of SBAS to Africa and the rest of the world, “ he said.

Contributing, Mr Pwajok Lawrence, Ag. Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, said the objective of the SBAS flight demonstration and outreach workshop was to provide a forum for collaborative.

`According to him, the event aimed at demonstrating the use of SBAS service for en route navigation, terminal approach and landing to provide proof of concept on availability, reliability, accuracy and integrity of service for safe and efficient flight operations.

Lawrence explained that there were many benefits the nation would derive from implementation of SBAS in aviation sector.

“Expected benefits of SBAS implementation include- enhancement of airspace capacity and utilization, increased accessibility into remote airspace or aerodromes, higher level of accuracy, integrity, reliability, availability and continuity.

“Reduction of operational and maintenance cost for air navigation service providers, enhancement of ATM Capacity, reduction in flight delays and flight times, reduction in flight time, reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“Also, reduction of Pilot and Air Traffic Control workload, enhancement of safety and efficiency of flight operations, implementation of continuous climb and continuous descent operations, supporting of low flying helicopters in the coastal areas, “ he said.

Others he said are flights over remote continental airspace, flights over oceanic airspace, SBAS will support ATFM, increasing airspace capacity and utilisation, enhancing search and rescue, increasing airspace capacity and Reduced Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) risk/accident.

According to him, the implemention of SBAS will reduce delays, diversions and cancellations due to weather conditions, reduce flight crew workload by eliminating RAIM prediction requirements and to avail airlines with optimum flight trajectories.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was hosted by Nigeria (NAMA, NigComSat and NCAA) in conjunction with international partners such as the Joint Programme Office of the Satellite Navigation for Africa.

Other parts of international partner are European Union Global Action on Space and Augmented Navigation for Africa (ANGA) among others. NAN) (wwwnannews.ng)

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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