In the early formative years of ICAO, the Air Navigation Commission set up eleven (11) technical divisions upon which any sphere of human endevour in the Aviation Industry could be represented; among which is Aeronautical Communications.
The Aeronautical Telecommunications, which is one of the eleven technical divisions consider and recommend for adoption to the ICAO council international standards and recommended practices as enshrined in ICAO Annex 10 Vol. II, otherwise known as International Aeronautical Telecommunications Service.
The object of the International Telecommunication Service is to ensure the Telecommunications and Radio Aids to Air Navigation necessary for the safety regularity and efficiency of International Air Navigation.
ICAO Annex 10 Vol. II defined Telecommunication as “any transmission, emission or reception of signs, writing, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other electromagnetic system”.
Aeronautical Telecommunications is mainly divided into four parts viz:
The objective of Aeronautical fixed Telecommunication service is to ensure that messages pertaining to Air navigation are transmitted and received speedily and accurately so as to enhance the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation. The general procedures for the international Aeronautical Telecommunication Services are contained in the third chapter of Annex 10 Volume 2 of the international Civil Aviation Organization.
AERONAUTICAL FIXED TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK (AFTN)
This is an integrated worldwide system of aeronautical fixed circuits provided as part of the Aeronautical fixed service for the exchange of communication and/or digital data between the aeronautical stations having the same or compatible communications characteristics.
This is the means through which aeronautical messages necessary for the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation are exchanged both locally and internationally.
In Nigeria, there are two (2) main AFTN Communications centres. These are Aeronautical Communications centres located at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Other Aeronautical Fixed Stations are located in almost all the functional Airports in Nigeria such includes the following:-
However, the scope of Aeronautical Communication in Nigeria is limited only to Aeronautical Fixed Service (AFS) which does not meet the basic ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
FUNCTIONS OF THE AERONAUTICAL COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
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