Air Traffic Control Service (ATCS), presently referred to as Air Traffic Management (ATM) is one of the most important services provided by the Agency. ATC is divided into the following departments:
The service is the anchor towards the realization of the mission of the Agency in the area of safe, efficient and economic air navigation service provision. The ATCS is the direct medium by which the major customers of the Agency (Aircraft operators) access and rate the quality of service being provided.
Air traffic control service (ATCS) is a service provided for the purpose of preventing collisions between aircraft; on the maneuvering area, between aircraft and obstructions; and to expedite and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic.
Air Traffic Control Service is as old as when air transport became visible in Nigeria. The department is headed at the headquarters by the General Manager, ATC Operations and at station by the Air Traffic Operations Manager (ATOM). ATC service, among others, is provided by Air Traffic Controllers in all the nation’s airports. The service is provided by different units depending on the type of airspace under the control of each unit.
ATMis the dynamic, integrated management of air traffic and airspace including Air Traffic Services, Airspace Management and Air Traffic Flow Management (safely, economically and efficiently) through the provision of facilities and seamless services in collaboration with all parties and involving airborne and ground-based functions.
Air Traffic Control Service is sub-divided into area control service, approach control service and aerodrome control service. A unit is established to carry out each of these services. Aerodrome and approach control services are combined in many airports at the aerodrome control unit, but are separated in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt airports. Air Traffic Control Services are provided either with procedural (non-radar) control or radar. There are four stations in Nigeria where radar is used for the provision of ATCS. These stations are Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano. The whole Nigerian airspace is however covered by radar (Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria – TRACON). The provision of Area Radar Control will soon commence within the Nigerian Airspace.
Nigerian Airspace, known as Kano Flight Information Region (FIR), is divided into two. The northern part of Kano FIR is controlled by Kano Area Control Centre and Lagos sub-FIR (southern part) is controlled by Lagos Area Control Centre. The Lagos Sub-FIR has its vertical jurisdiction up to FL430 while the upper airspace above FL430 is controlled by Kano ACC.
Other services associated with Air Traffic Control Service include:
All these services are provided by every unit to aircraft under its jurisdiction.
In all, the Agency provides Air Traffic Control Service in all the twenty-seven Airports and Airstrips.
Modernization of Air Traffic Management facilities has been on over the years. This effort is to enhance the level of safety within the nation’s airspace. Among such modernization are TRACON project, Safe Tower projects and many more. This, among others, has enhanced the level of service delivery of the Agency tremendously over the years.
The Agency presently has 275 well trained Air Traffic Controllers, in many areas of Air Traffic Control, manning the nation’s airspace in conjunction with about 25 retired Air Traffic Controllers engaged on contract basis. It is a subsisting strategy to continuously recruit, train and retrain more Air Traffic Controllers to ensure effective coverage of the airports in the area of manpower needs.
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