As preparations the reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu gathers momentum, the Federal Government has made good its promise to upgrade facilities at the airport.

Towards this end, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, has successfully installed a brand-new CAT 2 Instrument Landing System/Distance Measuring Equipment, ILS/DME, to replace the old system, which was installed since 2003.

NAMA engineers have also conducted a successful site acceptance test on the equipment in Enugu, in preparation for its calibration in the coming days.

And in a bid to address the communication blind spots in the Lagos South East corridor, the agency has installed a Very Small Aperture Terminal, VSAT, for satellite communication at the airport.

Equally, the Satellite Communication, SATCOM, node has further been integrated into the national satellite communication network, which is linked to the African Indian Ocean SATCOM, AFISNET.

Also liked 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.

Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, while speaking on the gains of this latest installation, noted with delight that radio communication along the Lagos South East sector has “improved tremendously,” adding that 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.”

Akinkuotu added, “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.

He also disclosed that the new installation has provided an Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication, AFTN, link which 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 Air Traffic/Direct Speech, ATS/DS, for departing and arriving traffic ahead of time

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