NAMA clarifies effect of Power outage on Lagos Radar


By Ikenna UGWU and Oyise OGHENE

LAGOS-Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has confirmed that the Lagos radar was shut down briefly to protect the system from technical defect following power outage at the site which affected  the Automatic Mains Failure (AMF) switch.

The Automatic Mains Failure switch connects or disconnects the mains or generator and vice versa depending on availability.

The breakdown of the switch over the weekend was caused by incessant power outage at the airport, forcing the agency to deploy an emergency procedure to save the system from colossal damage.

The incident, however, did not pose any threat to air traffic safety as air traffic controllers on duty immediately shifted to procedural handling of flights as they are equally licensed to practice such during  an emergency situation.

In a press statement issued by the agency, the Managing Directo, Engineer Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, supervised the Engineers who were deployed  to rectify the fault on the AMF and were able to restore power to the radar system which  began operation  shortly after switching to the generator.

The operation of the radar was part of the epoch making landing  at the Lagos airport of a newly acquired Dreamliner-Boeing 787 by Ethiopian Airlines.

Radar

Engineer confirmed last night that the incident got nothing to do with the integrity of the radar,saying that  “the system is working perfectly”.

Speaking further on the development General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Supo Atobatele has said that radar shut down does not pose any threat to safety of aircraft flying in the Nigerian airspace.

Mr. Atobatele said that the radar can be shut down for maintenance purposes adding that all that the ATC would do was to switch to the procedural system by using radio to communicate with the pilots in the air.

According to him,”there is no serious implication about the shutting down of the radar. Radar itself is an instrument, it is a system on its own and what it does is to assist the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to vector aircraft and monitor the aircraft”

Mr. Atobatele however pointed out that in the event of radar shut down, what would happen is that the ATC would fall back on the procedural method of communicating with the pilots through the use of radio.

According to him,”In the event where the radar is shut down, what the ATC will do is that they will immediately switch to what is called the procedural system, they will use radio to communicate with the pilots, so there is no threat in that, the question we should ask is what were they using before the advent of radar, it was the procedural system, it is only that the radar makes the job faster, it can handle more traffic like in one hour, it can handle about ten to fifteen aircraft but when you are using procedural, the traffic you handle will be lower than when you are using the radar system”

Meanwhile, one of the General Manager in the Engineering Department, of the agency said in the event of a total failure of the radar that the aviation industry would be plunge into a big crisis situation.

The General Manager who refused to have his name in print pointed out that it would be difficult for the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to effectively monitor the various aircraft in the air in the event that the radar system was shut down completely.

He said”If the radar is shut down briefly which of course means that we have power redundancy. But if it is completely shut down, definitely we will have crisis in our hands because you have aircraft that are sequence on their final that is about landing and then everything suddenly goes off. You may not know the numbers of aircraft and their spacing between one another, their flight levels and so on, so that can cause problem”

“This is what is called procedural air navigation, you need to see what the aircraft is doing, you want to talk to an aircraft, you need to know the flight level and sequence them on landing, you need to see them and see their performance, you have to see their altitude as well” he added.General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Supo Atobatele has said that radar shut down does not pose any threat to safety of aircraft flying in the Nigerian airspace.

Mr. Atobatele said that the radar can be shut down for maintenance purposes adding that all that the ATC would do was to switch to the procedural system by using radio to communicate with the pilots in the air.

According to him,”there is no serious implication about the shutting down of the radar. Radar itself is an instrument, it is a system on its own and what it does is to assist the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to vector aircraft and monitor the aircraft”

Mr. Atobatele however pointed out that in the event of radar shut down, what would happen is that the ATC would fall back on the procedural method of communicating with the pilots through the use of radio.

According to him,”In the event where the radar is shut down, what the ATC will do is that they will immediately switch to what is called the procedural system, they will use radio to communicate with the pilots, so there is no threat in that, the question we should ask is what were they using before the advent of radar, it was the procedural system, it is only that the radar makes the job faster, it can handle more traffic like in one hour, it can handle about ten to fifteen aircraft but when you are using procedural, the traffic you handle will be lower than when you are using the radar system”

Meanwhile, one of the General Manager in the Engineering Department, of the agency said in the event of a total failure of the radar that the aviation industry would be plunge into a big crisis situation.

The General Manager who spoke to Biztellers on the condition of anonymity pointed out that it would be difficult for the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to effectively monitor the various aircrafts in the air in the event that the radar system was shut down completely.

He said”If the radar is shut down briefly It of course means that we have power redundancy. But if it is completely shut down, definitely we will have crisis in our hands because you have aircraft that are sequence on their final that is about landing and then everything suddenly goes off. You may not know the numbers of aircraft and their spacing between one another, their flight levels and so on, so that can cause problem”

“This is what is called procedural air navigation, you need to see what the aircraft is doing, you want to talk to an aircraft, you need to know the flight level and sequence them on landing, you need to see them and see their performance, you have to see their altitude as well” he added.


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