Deployment of Category 3 ILS will make zero visibility landing possible – Pwajok, NAMA MD

By Chinelo Obogo

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said that the deployment of Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) would make zero visibility landing for aircraft possible.

Speaking during an oversight tour of its Air Traffic Control Tower simulator and the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) site by the joint Aviation Committees of the National Assembly in Lagos during the week, the Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Mathew Pwajok, said that in addition to the CAT3, the mobile control towers are very important for operations and have saved dire situations especially at the pea of the COVID-19 pandemic and that NAMA is seeking to ensure that it has a national spread. The agency currently has four mobile control towers and is expecting two more.

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Pwajok said the agency has installed CAT2 ILS’ in 10 airports which can bring down an aircraft at 300metres, and that local airports in Nigeria should have CAT 2 while all international airports should have CAT 3.

He also said that with the ILS, it would be easier for foreign airlines to key in but that domestic airlines would need training and certification and approval granted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“For domestic airlines, there might be a challenge but for international airlines most of them are already operating the category 3 in other countries. So for us, CAT 3 is achievable but the domestic airlines must be encouraged to get approval from the NCAA both for flight crew training and certification, air traffic as well as operating manuals specifications for those procedures for them to be CAT3. It is a low visibility operations procedure and it requires that NCAA approves any operator to do so.


“During the COVID we had a controller infected and we had to move outside the control tower to disinfect it and isolate people. The mobile control tower became strategic as you cannot allow failure in air traffic management. Aircraft cannot stop mid air. We have had a few disasters like the Cantonment disaster and when a flight needs to land somebody has to control it.

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“There must be contingency for all levels of services, air traffic management services must have contingency, there must be contingency for navigational equipment services. There must be contingency for communication and surveillance equipment,” he said.

The joint committee led by Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi and Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, said that such critical safety equipment should be deployed to all the geo political zones.

Nnolim said that in the next budget or a supplementary budget, the National Assembly can make it possible for the procurement of more mobile towers particularly for Enugu and Owerri airports.