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Starting from last week when landing visibility crisis engulfed operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, majority of international carriers, who could not risk the safety of their passengers started diverting to Accra International Airport, Ghana, where every infrastructure is working to perfection.
Fact checks showed that the $8.5m navigational aids (NAVAIDS) and Instrument Landing System (ILS) infrastructure installed by the Federal Government has been under disrepairs, thus forcing safety conscious international flights to land in neighbouring countries of Ghana and Benin Republic.
NATCA President, Abayomi Agoro, had reasoned that the cause of the diversions is clearly linked to the degraded state of navigational and landing facilities due to lack of calibration due to operational inefficiency of relevant agencies.
The currently degraded facilities confirmed by the Ministry of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on August 29, 2019, included King Air 350i calibration airplane to ensure workability of navigational aids and boost aviation safety by stemming the $500, 000 bi-annual capital flights.
This equipment was expected to be put into use to ensure that the navigational or communication equipment like the Instrument Landing System (ILS), Very-high Omni-directional radio Range (VOR) are calibrated every six months to ensure they work accurately and precisely.
In anger, Agoro decried that “We are concerned with the untold hardship the situation has visited on our members working in Lagos Terminal Approach position whose statutory responsibility is to ensure a round-the- clock safety in taking off and landing.
“In as much as we sincerely appreciate government’s huge investment in the upgrade of aviation infrastructure in the sector, NATCA is nevertheless concerned about the perennial state of degradation of the essential facilities and working tools with attendant increased stress and workload which, in practical terms, translate to serious safety implications for the flying public.
In his submission, NATCA boss called on relevant agencies to save the face of MMIA by taking immediate steps to restore the full serviceability of the navigational and landing aids to ensure an effective end to the uncalled-for hitches recently experienced and prevent the re-occurrence of same.
Efforts to get the views of Aviation agencies on the matter over the weekend failed.
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