In preparation for the reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had completed the installation of a brand-new category two (CAT2) Instrument Landing System/Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS/DME) to replace the old facilities installed since 2003.
The Enugu Airport, one of the international airports in the country, was closed down in August last year, for the construction of the dilapidated runway.
Besides the runway, other navigational facilities that would aid aircraft takeoff and landing are being installed.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had promised that the Airport would be re-opened by April.
NAMA in its Monday bulletin said a successful site acceptance test on the equipment has also been conducted by NAMA engineers in Enugu in preparation for its calibration in the coming days.
Furthermore, to address communication blind spots in the Lagos – South East corridor, the agency has installed a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) for satellite communication at the airport.
This SATCOM (Satellite Communication) node has further been integrated into the national satellite communication network which is linked to the AFISNET (African Indian Ocean SATCOM Network).
Also linked to the VSAT is the newly installed Remote Control Air-Ground (RCAG) Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communication system, ensuring that Enugu now has an extended VHF coverage on 127.3MHz frequency for Lagos – South East sector.
The Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu stated that radio communication along the Lagos – South East sector has “improved tremendously,” adding the installation of the VHF radio in Enugu is “particularly significant as the city is strategically located to accommodate over six routes, both local and international.”
“Enugu being on a higher latitude can cover for Manfe entry/exit reporting point in Cameroun for international flights like Ethiopian, Rwanda Airlines, Kenya Airways, South Africa Airways and the like,”Akinkuotu said.
He added that the new installation has provided AFTN (Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network) link that would enhance effective data communication for transmission of flight plans, NOTAMs and Aeronautical Communication messages, just as it has provided effective coordination between Enugu tower and Lagos Area Control Centre through the ATS/DS (Air Traffic Services/ Direct Speech) for departing and arriving traffic ahead of time.