March 25, 2023

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NAMA migrates from Visual Flight Rule, Procedural Control in Niger Delta to Multilateration

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As a strategic initiative to prevent air accidents and enhance safer and economic air transport, especially among helicopters operators in the Niger Delta area and in the entire gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency, NAMA, has drawn the curtain on visual flight rules and also on procedural control, beginning from the first quarter of next year, 2023.

Mr Lawrence Mathew Pwajok, Managing Director designate of NAMA, made the announcement in a chat with members of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents-Nigeria, LAAC-N, in Lagos.

He said all the equipment and skilled manpower needed to effect air traffic surveillance and control through the Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) Surveillance Air Traffic Management System in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea, were in place and over 95 per cent ready for deployment.

Pwajok said the rationale for migrating from visual flight rules and procedural control, was borne by the fact of the geometrical increase in the density of low-flying helicopters around the nation’s oil wells in the Niger Delta.

Also of concern according to Pwajok was the quantum of helicopters operations, the rising number of heliports, helipads, helidecks and landing platforms around the area which made it imperative to migrate from visual flight rules and procedural control to Multilateration, MLAT.

He said by the deployment of Wide Area Multilateration (WAM), the current increase of low-flying machines in the Niger Delta will be safely sustained, efficiency in increased flight operations will be guaranteed, and the safety and security of flight operations in the Niger Delta and even in the entire Golf of Guinea will be enhanced through the automated system of surveillance, monitoring and control of flight operations which multilateration offers.

The NAMA boss listed the benefits of Multilateration which include “enhanced safety, efficiency and security of flight operations within the continental and oceanic airspace and would enhance search and rescue in the oceanic airspace”

Pwajok added that “Multilateration would aid in monitoring operations of ships as well as search and rescue of ships in distress within the Nigerian territorial waters and even beyond.

Multilateration, MLAT, is a system that makes use of multiple remote sensors that pick signals from aircraft transponders and use them to determine the position of an aircraft or a ship by calculating the Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) of the signals to the sensors.

The system provides higher accuracy, greater update rates, better coverage and improved reliability at a much lower cost.

MLAT uses small unmanned ground stations placed strategically around an airport or terminal or remote locations to provide constant and automatic air traffic surveillance.

Like Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR), Multilateration, MLAT, is classified as a cooperative dependent surveillance system: the aircraft has to cooperate by switching on its onboard transponder.

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1 thought on “NAMA migrates from Visual Flight Rule, Procedural Control in Niger Delta to Multilateration

  1. Implementation of migrates from visual flight rule, procedural control in Niger Delta to multilateration by NAMA is rather late than never…..

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