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NAMA Refutes ‘Near Air Disaster’ Story
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has declared on Monday that the newly installed Radar in Lagos is functional and confirmed the integrity of the equipment to handle flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja without undue delays.
In a statement yesterday, which was signed by its General Manager, Public affairs, Mr. Supo Atobatele, NAMA said the Director of Operations of the Agency, Mr Adebisi Adedara, dismissed claims in the press that a power surge on Sunday at the radar site put airborne aircraft on path of collision, pointing out that at no time was an incident of air miss was reported by any pilot on account of the power surge.
Adedera, conducting aviation journalists round the radar facility yesterday, explained that even on account of a power failure as experienced momentarily on Sunday, our air traffic controllers are trained and licensed on Procedural Control .We embarked on procedural and we landed all the planes. There was no aircraft that hovered for several hours as claimed in the said report. Neither Ethiopian airline nor Qatar Airways lodged any incident of near miss as reported . The entire write up is the imagination of the fictitious writer.‘’
“In aviation, you can not hide anything as it is mandatory to log incident[s] as reference material for future use as occasion may demand for such by regulatory agency, “ the statement added
It stressed that Adedara displayed the log book for press scrutiny to confirm that nothing was amiss during the incidence of power surge and maintained that the two back-up generators were serviceable as against what was reported in the press.NAMA confirmed the integrity of the new radar in handling traffic ,just as the management assured air travellers of their safety .
Ethiopian and Qatar Airways :Air Disaster Averted as Radar Fails in Lagos
By Chinedu Eze
Source: This Day
Hundreds of lives would have been lost yesterday in a near collision of aircraft when the communication and radar system of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) broke down, leaving a dozen aircraft hovering in the air for several hours at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Ethiopian Airlines, carrying 180 passengers on its way to Lagos from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, demanded emergency landing when its aircraft was running out of fuel as it hovered for several hours, waiting to be directed to land by the Air Traffic Controllers at the airport.
Also, a Qatar Airways aircraft with about 190 passengers also requested precautionary landing at about 2.30 pm after hovering for a long time as the aircraft was exhausting its fuel.
THISDAY investigations revealed that both communication and radar systems of NAMA were down at the airport and the controllers could not direct aircraft to land, which led to a crowded airspace – a critical safety situation.
With the near crash situation, other aircraft in the airspace had to give way for Ethiopian Airlines to land.
One of the pilots of the aircraft that hovered at the time told THISDAY that there was a point it became unsafe to remain at the airspace around Lagos and he requested to divert his aircraft to another airport.
Almost all other aircraft had lost so much fuel because they had all waited for more than two hours.
“We waited for hours and there was a time there were more than 15 aircraft in the airspace, which was risky, so I requested that I wanted to divert my aircraft to another airport. Already, our fuel for the flight had finished. We were waiting on endurance fuel,” the pilot said.
The Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, acknowledged the incident and said he did not have the details yet but he had directed his officials to investigate.
The pilot also told THISDAY that the safety consequence of the incident was that there were so many “air misses” (near collision) of aircraft as many of them converged on the same flight level.
“The long hours spent hovering exhausted the fuel of almost all the aircraft and because we were all converging almost on the same level it gave rise to many air misses, so many lives would have been lost if there were crashes,” he said.
The pilot said NAMA should have contingency plan whenever the radar fails, so that this kind of incident would not happen again.
“What happened today exposed the danger of not well-managed airspace; there would have been at least a collision and you know the consequence of that, but when the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft declared emergency so we had to allow it to land otherwise it would have crashed,” the pilot told THISDAY.
The radar in Lagos has just been installed as part of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) project, which went on stream a few months ago. Analysts found it surprising that it could break down so soon.
But THISDAY learnt from a NAMA official that power outage aborted the operations of the agency in Lagos and this lasted for several hours as there was no immediate alternative power source.
Although the agency has about two generators at the MMIA, Lagos, for three hours yesterday none was working when the public power supply from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was cut off.
THISDAY also learnt that since August this year the agency had been powering its facilities in all the airports in the country.
“This is why we said that the airlines should pay us all the charges they owe us because we need the money to provide them service,” the source said.
The Secretary-General of African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Nick Fadugba, had warned of the danger of allowing airlines to hover around the Lagos airspace waiting with the poor communication and radar system in the Nigeria, noting that it is tantamount to endangering people’s lives.
Wow, absolutely incredible. The largest country on the continent, the most endowed in terms of natural resources and human resources and yet this can happen in the 21st century; I hope they do a thorough investigation and plug all holes as this is a ticking time bomb.
Thank God Almighty Our beloved airline and our brothers and sisters are safe.I think ETHIOPIAN should wait until Nigerian air control system is maintained and satisfy international standard.
You ever wonder while most of Nigerian airlines were banned from flying to Europe and America?
Safety, Safety, Safety.
With all the petro dollar money they earn they can not operate one damn airport effeciently.
They need to clean up their act quickly for their own sake or else that black gold wouldn’t last for ever.
First when i see the news i was shacked once when i start reading it happens in Nigeria Airport it didn’t surprise me because Nigerian Aviation is one of the worlds deadliest Airline I’m not laying for the last 5 years 3 Airplanes came down from air and killed many people so it is not amazing at all . God Bless Africa & the Aviation of Nigeria.
Americans and Europeans are obsessed with efficiency, they always have a contingency plan for every mishap. This speaks to many facets of Africa’s institutions. Hope much lesson can be learned for all the countries in Africa not just Lagos.
Ethiopians should think about thier travel to Naigeria before they buy air tickets here after. I think Naigerian Air line is the poorest in its standard in Africa. Be subtle “HABESHA” before u lost your life.
Nigeria!!!!! When is this country getting better on its its systems? This is not a joke! Careless system as well as arrogant people knows in Africa.
Corrupted ,disorganized Nigera is a symbol of how Africans run communication and oil busines.
ETHIOPIAN AIR LINES SHOULD CONSIDER
AN ALTERNATIVE ROUT JUST IN CASE
THE MESS HAPENS AGAIN.
God forbid such incidence for that Airline, I can imagine what the attendants was feeling at that time as I am flying freqentlly. Nothing much one can do if such a disaster happens at all except allowing death in all its pain and sadness!!
Thank God for saving all the lives would have been lost
Johnny visitor : buddy you are just a daft idiot with your daft comments…….. “Nigerian aviation is one of the worlds deadliest airlines"? Did the article talk about a Nigerian airline?is there an airline called nigerian aviation? Can you even find Nigeria or Ethiopia on a map? ….my friend pls Stop…. “laying”LOL
And the rest of you xenophopic posters who love to bash Nigeria at every chance you get, even though you have never been there, and probably have never met one, but love to hate hate hate no matter what.
How many Ethiopians do you think were on board probably only the crew, as the aircraft was not on the usual middle Eastern maid service or the “DV winners/soon to be criminals in the USA” shuttle to DC, meaning no Ethiopians.
For the record Aircraft don’t hover in mid air! Cessna Skyhawk back me up on this, and all aircraft must have alternative airports to divert to in case of eventualities, so they could have and should have diverted to Abuja or their designated alternative airport.
Even if Radar fails, it did not say the radios failed so air trafic controrl can instruct airfraft to Hold in a safe traffic pattern at different altitudes, so the bullshit that they were hovering at the same flight level is just that…. Bull shit!
Aircraft NEVER Hold at the same flight level! no Pilot will accept to hold in a holding pattern on the same flight level with another aircraft. It is against basic flying regulations
Even student Pilots will not accept such stupid and dangerous instructions from ATC
Get it right. The white man is watching lol
Most of this (Nigerians) people know only how to dance, show off, etc…. and they forget the “Word” called Managment which is important in every sector of professional institution.
I am glad that the African PRIDE Ethiopian Airlines and other Airliners who have also been hovering for hours made it safe.
Ethiopian airlines should avoid Nigeria airports ASAP.
Thanks GOD this time all went OK. This is a wake up call.
In the process of defending the pathetic Nigerian civil aviation system, you insulted the rest of Ethiopian passengers as either maids or DV winner soon to be criminals.
Now let’s see who is the real xenophobic.
So if you think they are good on what they do, why let airlines hover for hours to the point that fuels on some airlines reached a dangerous level and in the process jeoperdize the life of mostly Nigerian passengers? Why not divert to alternative airport? Where is the backup plan?
CASKETS ON THE SKY
I would rather fly at the back of canadian snow goose, than NIGEREAN-AIR LINES, internationaly known by the name of “COFFINS IN THE SKY”
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