- The Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to implementing the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) project for the safety and security of the country’s airspace.
- The French company, CXR Networks, is manufacturing the equipment required for the TRACON project, and the Minister of Aviation lauded the French Government for its support towards the project.
- The TRACON project is expected to enhance the capacity, efficiency and capability of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the equipment, when delivered, would be deployed to aid civil and military aviation operations at designated airports and flying routes in Nigeria.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said that there is no going back on the plan by the Federal Government to ensure Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) for the safety and security of the country’s airspace.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Public Affairs, Mr James Odaudu, said that the Minister gave the assurance on Tuesday, during his visit to the headquarters of CXR Networks, in Paris, France. Note that the French company was engaged by the Federal Government to manufacture the equipment required for the TRACON project.
More details on the TRACON project
According to Sirika, the TRACON project was one of the legacy projects of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the aviation sector. He lauded the French Government for its support towards the project and its implementation.
The Minister also reiterated that the project would enhance the capacity, efficiency and capability of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), which is statutorily empowered for the management of the Nigerian airspace.
Sirika declared that the various components of the equipment are some of the best that could be found in any part of the world, stressing that they were manufactured in line with the best international recommended practices and standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
He said the equipment, when delivered, would be deployed to aid civil and military aviation operations at designated airports and flying routes in Nigeria.
What CXR Networks’ CEO said
Receiving Sirika and his team, the Chief Operating Officer of CXR Networks, Mr Marco Di Valerio said the company’s management was happy to receive the team from Nigeria and reassured of his company’s readiness to ensure that the project was delivered on time and in line with the terms of engagement.
He also stated that the company had all the necessary certifications of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and operates from 96 countries of the world.
According to him, the equipment is of the best standards and is the latest in air traffic management and security.
Sirika later went on a guided tour of the facilities of the manufacturing company of aviation equipment.
He was accompanied on the trip by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, the acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr Lawrence Matthew Pwajok and some Directors in the Ministry of Aviation.
What you should know
Recall that the TRACON agreement was signed between the Federal Government and Thales of France in 2003 at 66.5 million Euro and commissioned in September 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Since the agreement was signed between the two parties, lots of criticisms have continued to trail it, especially on its effectiveness and spare parts replacement.
A section of industry professionals had alleged that the project would become obsolete in a few years and wanted a more modern project, multilateralism, which they said will boost the safety of the country’s airspace.
The system has collapsed severally since it was installed in 2010.
The facility broke down due to the non-availability of spare parts less few years after eight years after its installation.
In case you missed it
In September 2018, Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, NAMA, Engr. Farouk Umar said that all efforts to source spare parts for the replacement of some of the worn-out parts of the equipment from the manufacturer had proved abortive.
Umar lamented that the situation had been like that since 2014, which was four years after the project came on stream.
He disclosed that the agency had been operating the equipment without spares from the manufacturers, to maintain or upgrade the facility to the state-of-the-art.
He however urged the Federal Government to prevail on Thales of France to adhere strictly to the terms of the contract as entered into with Nigeria, stressing that it was extensive to procure navigational equipment for operations by the agency.