To reduce flight delays, CO2 emission and fuel consumption used by aircraft during flight as well as increase air traffic management (ATM) capacity, amongst others, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has split the Lagos Sub-Flight Information Region (Sub-FIR) airspace into two sectors.
The two sectors; the Lagos West Area Control Centre on 120.9MHz radio frequency and the Lagos East Area Control Centre on 127.3MHz frequency became imperative owing to the increasing volume of traffic and the attendant challenges posed to both pilots and air traffic controllers..
Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu explained that sectorising the Lagos Area Control Centre (ACC) would bring about optimum utilisation of the airspace by reducing controller-pilot workload, thereby increasing efficiency and quality of service delivery as well as providing functional air navigation services that will meet international standards at no cost to the users.
He said to achieve this feat, the Agency has put in place measures including the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a test-run of the procedures at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria; as well as in-house training of needed manpower to boost capacity in the two sectors; enhancement of the required support facilities for ground-ground and air-ground communication.
Additional measures also include the update of the radar maps and database of the radar system; test run of the radar system and radio communication equipment, as well as the issuance of an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) supplement earlier on.
As part of the process, Capt. Akinkuotu revealed that two (2) new procedural control flight progress boards with two (2) controller working positions for the East and West sectors have also been provided to ensure proper ergonomics at the Lagos Area Control Centre.