By Patrick Aigbokhan
Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said the agency will not relent in its commitment to accelerating the digitalization of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) in the country.
The move, according to NAMA, is in view of the centrality of data automation to the overall safety of civil aviation.
Capt. Akinkuotu, who spoke on the occasion of the World AIS Day held at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos, noted that, in view of critical deliverables of the Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) project such as the enhancement of e-NOTAM, e-Flight Planning, e-AIP, e-TOD, e-Charts, e-Flight briefing etc, and “given that it represents a global migration to a dynamic data oriented aeronautical information management system that facilitates the timely exchange of aeronautical information in an accurate and standardized format from anywhere to everywhere globally, on real time basis, the automation project is a must-do for NAMA.”
For the dream of AIS Automation to be realized, the NAMA boss said it behoves staff of the department to put in their best to see that their service both at the individual and group level remains invaluable. This, according to him, could be done through extensive research and paper presentation at seminars, targeted at enriching the system and taking it to the next level.
Akinkuotu promised to open his doors to their professional and technical advice which he said would give him the needed guidance in taking key decisions.
The NAMA chief also lauded staff of the AIS department for their diligence, hard work and dedication to duty, saying, “AIS remains one of the most critical departments in the agency even though they are hardly given the prominence they deserve, because their job most often, is behind-the-scene.”
He stressed that absence of AIS in the system will bring about chaos in the entire civil aviation.
Mr Kabir Gusau, General Manager, AIS, in his welcome address, appealed to NAMA management to consider the periodic training and retraining of AIS personnel, which, according to him, “would bring staff up to speed with modern trends in a dynamic aviation industry and also prepare them to effectively embrace automation when fully deployed.”
The AIS GM also harped on the need for the agency, through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to ensure that qualified AIS personnel were licensed as this would bolster them towards hard work, commitment to duty and enhanced productivity.
Observed in 191 contracting states globally, the World AIS Day is a day providers of the service, regulatory authorities, users of the service, other aviation stakeholders, as well as AIS systems manufacturers, critically assess the performance of the service and recommend appropriate measures for its enhancement.
In Nigeria, the 2017 World AIS Day with the theme: Efficient Data Management System that Supports Digital Aeronautical Information Services was celebrated on May 15, 2017 simultaneously in all parts of the country.