NAMA begins test-run of ADS-C/ CPDLC in Nigerian Airspace

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THE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has begun the test-run of its high profile project-the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (ADS-C/ CPDLC) in the nation’s airspace.

The test-run which commenced last week at the Lagos Area Control Centre (ACC) was witnessed live by the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, accompanied by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Usman Muhtar and the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma.

A successful log-on and communication with airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa Airlines and Emirates Airlines was activated to the admiration and excitement of the aviation CEOs. Other airlines that have also logged on to the service include Arik Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Etihad Airlines. Consequently, NAMA has issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) to aviation stakeholders worldwide including airlines, service providers and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the availability of ADS-C/ CPDLC in the Nigerian airspace.

The AIC is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders on the commencement of the service in the country and also to highlight the benefits derivable from the use of the service, intended scope of the service as well as requirements for airborne equipment, flight planning and operations.

Meanwhile, a successful Site Acceptance Test (SAT) has been conducted, just as a four-day site training of critical personnel including engineers and air traffic controllers drawn from both Kano and Lagos ACCs has ended in Lagos, preparatory to the actual takeoff of the service.

Speaking on the successful test-run of ADS-C/ CPDLC, NAMA’s helmsman, Abdulsalam, dedicated the success of the project to the collective effort of staff of the agency “who have toiled endlessly to see to this wonderful addition to the digitalization of air traffic management in Nigeria,” stressing that “it therefore behoves our indigenous airlines to tap into the service in order to take advantage of the benefits and deliverables of enhanced safety and efficiency that come with ADS-C/ CPDLC.”

Abdulsalam further explained that the current test-run is in line with international best practices, to allow operators adapt to the new service and make necessary comments and observations, prior to full implementation scheduled for 12th November, 2015. He also revealed that a similar test-run at the Kano ACC would commence in a couple of days’ time.

Also in his remarks, the Sales Director of SITA France (System providers), Mr Sam Munda congratulated NAMA for implementing ADS-C/ CPDLC in Nigeria which according to him is a major plank in modern air traffic management adding that “with this, NAMA has gone ahead to assert itself as a leading Air Navigation Service Provider on the continent of Africa.”

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