The federal government has acquired two mobile air traffic control (MATC) towers worth N1.7 billion as a measure to enhance flight safety.
Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, recently inaugurated the mobile towers at the Lagos airport.
Mobile towers can be used for smaller airports, military deployments, airport visual control room (VCR) refurbishments, disaster relief or special events.
Sirika said the equipment would be deployed by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
He also said it would be deployed to any other airport where they lack conventional control towers.
“The intent and purpose of the ministry and what we have been doing is to ensure safety and efficiency of our sector without degrading and de-emphasising issues of security and comfort,” Sirika said.
“So, how very safe you depart Point A and land in Point B is our primary concern and primary importance. This is an extension of that intent and purpose and so the amount of N1.7 billion has been spent in procuring these mobile towers.
“These equipment are for Lagos and Abuja airports but they can be deployed to any airstrip or airport that lacks control tower. They are equipped with real time information system like weather, overflight to ensure smooth operations.
“They are so equipped, so modernized, so efficient and so very alive. It has everything that a control tower should have, it has real-time weather, we have all of that approach and departure procedures and everything else and overflight that ensures smooth flight operations and air traffic management.
“In addition, the Managing Diirector of NAMA just reminded me of the fact that during unusual times such as pandemics, this will come in handy when you have to create physical distancing and so on and so forth or when you have to operate in difficult circumstance; this is the solution to that.”
Speaking at the event, Lawrence Mathew Pwajok, NAMA director of operations, said the agency has received approval from the federal government to upgrade existing control towers at the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports.
“Upgrading them would require a hardware upgrade and software upgrade and while doing that you will not be able to use the facility you are trying to upgrade so, this will provide a strategic contingency where we can relocate the provision of the air traffic services or the control tower services pending when the hardware and software upgrade of the four control towers”.
Article originally published here.