The House of Representatives on Tuesday has lamented that after many years of investing in our nation’s airport there are still non-installation of Instrument Landing System.
It said consequent of the non-completion of the installation of the equipment, especially at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigerian flights are being diverted to other countries and made to take care of themselves.
The House described as careless, the attitude of workers of the regulatory agencies, adding that even though the Instrument Landing System has been purchased, their installation and calibration has been stalled due to disagreement among the agencies.
The position arose after a motion of urgent public importance was unanimously adopted by the House.
Hon Wale Raji said over the years, there have been several clamours from stakeholders in the aviation industry and other well-meaning Nigerians on the need for the Federal Government to adequately equip and upgrade the Nation’s airports with modern landing equipment from the current Category 1 and 2 in use in Nigeria to Category 3 ILS.
According to him, the agitation was predicated on the high number of delayed and cancelled flights during the harmattan season and inclement weather conditions which makes landing and takeoff of aircrafts very difficult or near impossible.
According to him, as a result of poor visibility in the nation’s airports, some foreign airlines are diverting their international flights into Accra Ghana and Ndjamena Chad and some other neighbouring countries with its attendant negative consequences.
He said the Federal Government had made budgetary provision for the procurement and installation of modern landing equipment in seven airports in Nigeria amounting to about N7.8 billion in Phase one comprising Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Katsina, Maiduguri and Sokoto airports.
He said further the Category 3 Instrument Landing System otherwise known as Cat 3 ILS has recently been installed by Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) at the MMIA Lagos to enable pilots to carry out an approach to landing in zero visibility and see the runway no matter the weather conditions.
READ ALSO: Amaechi Lost Staff To Electric Shock
He expressed concerns that the Category 3 ILS instrument installed was not functioning at its optimal capacity because of the non-availability of other supportive equipment like the runway and approach lights yet to be installed and upgraded by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.
He said the lack of cooperation amongst the aviation regulatory agencies on account of petty differences has negatively impacted on the efficient management of our airports.
He maintained that the constant diversion of airlines to alternate airports outside Nigeria has adversely affected the image of Nigeria aviation and undermine the economic benefits accruable to the country and the airlines.
He argued that increased cooperation and collaboration amongst the regulatory agencies will greatly enhance efficient management and seamless operations at our airports.
Raji said it was embarrassing that flights coming into the country were being diverted to other destinations like Accra, Ghana and Dakar Senegal because of the absence of Instrument Landing System, thereby subjecting Nigerians and other travellers to untold hardship.
Hon Olajide Olatubunsun said the process of planning and installation of the equipment was poor, questioning why the old equipment should be changed at the time when the weather in the country was bad.
He said the independence of the agencies operating at the port was questionable, adding that the country has lost about 5 million Euro to flight diversions, while passengers are left to take care of themselves by the airlines.
Hon James Falek said it was embarrassing that taxpayers money was used to buy equipment but are not installed and used for what they are meant for.
Faleke said those responsible for the negligence should be held responsible.
The House resolved that all the relevant regulatory agencies and other stakeholders in the aviation sector should ensure that all the acquired landing equipment (Category 3 ILS and other supportive equipment) are installed in the designated airports without further delay to forestall further incidences of flight diversions to our airspace.
They also asked airline operators diverting the flight to other countries and the regulatory authorities in Nigeria should share the responsibility of taking care of passengers travelling with such flights.