In preparation for the approaching harmattan season, where visibility is reduced, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has commenced the trial run of the newly installed Category III Instrument Landing System at Runway 18 Right, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
The Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the exercise, which commenced on Monday indicated that the equipment was fully operational, even as all the ILS components – Localiser, Glide Slope and Distance Measuring Equipment – were propagating signals optimally.
Akinkuotu said the alignment of the facility had already been done by the engineers, adding that the trial run was to ensure that the equipment aligned with the centre line of the runway and the descent path that would be comfortable to arrive the threshold at a good height for a normal landing.
He said, according to the timelines, the CAT III ILS would be available at both Lagos and Abuja airports by the third week of December, 2019.
“In a couple of weeks, we will bring calibration aircraft to fly in and certify that the equipment is good to go,” Akinkuotu said.
He explained that the facility was deployed in response to the demands by airlines for better navigational facilities in the country.
He said, “The CAT II ILS we have right now are 800 metres visibility. With the CAT III system, you will be able to come down lower and when you are closer to the runway, you will be able to see it better.
A CAT III operation is a precision approach lower than CAT II minima. A category III A approach is a precision instrument approach and landing with no decision height or a decision height lower than 100ft (30m) and a runway visual range not less than 700ft (200m).
“The deployment of CAT III ILS will reduce the landing and take-off minima. The landing minima is based on the fact that you are coming from somewhere and you are able to land while the take-off minima is predicated on certain aspects, among which is your ability to take off and if need be, you are able to land back to where you took off,” he said.
Akinkuotu stated that with better equipment, both minima would be lowered and there would be improvement in flight operations in the country.