Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has intensified action geared towards improving safety of air navigation within the runway and associated airside facilities at the four international airport in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt with a two-day workshop in collaboration with NCAA, FAAN, AIB, and NIMET and in conjunction with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Airport Council International (ACI) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The workshop holding between the 18th and 19th of January, 2016 at the Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Ikeja, the said workshop with the title: Runway Safety Go Team: Runway Incursion, Excursion and Confusion, will involve paper presentations from international aviation experts from ICAO, IATA, and ACI, on the above topic as well as the structure and terms of reference of runway safety teams, hazard identification, risk assessment and mitigation.
The runway safety workshop is also expected to involve practical assessment of the airside including the runway and associated facilities and thereafter, a report shall be issued at the end of deliberations.
In a statement, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam noted that the workshop is expected to eventually “culminate into the inauguration of runway safety teams for Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports in compliance with ICAO mandate on the establishment of such teams at all international airports,’’ stressing that “the agency took the initiative to facilitate this programme because the responsibility for the safety of aircraft landing and taking off on the runway as well as surface movement of aircraft rests with NAMA.”
Engr. Abdulsalam also revealed that as an ICAO requirement, the runway safety workshop will further prepare the nation for the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit slated for March 2016, just as he expressed optimism that as fallout of the workshop, Nigeria would have developed the required expertise to be able to ensure collaborative effort among stakeholders responsible for runway safety at the four major airports in the country.
The establishment of runway safety teams is a critical aspect of aviation safety contained in ICAO Resolution A37-6 which makes it a requirement for runway safety teams to be established at all airports in the AFI region. The responsibility of the runway safety teams whose membership cuts across aviation agencies, airlines and security agencies include regularly assessing runways, taxiways, aprons and associated facilities to ensure that identified or potential hazards are promptly mitigated.