At Last, NAMA Takes Delivery Of TRACON Spare Parts
…To Carry Out Turnaround Maintenance In Few Months Time
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) said it has taken delivery of another consignment of critical spare parts required for the continuous service and operation of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON).
TRACON, which is a Federal Government project, started in 2003 and was completed in 2010 at the cost Euros 66,500,870 (about N27.9 billion).
The decision to secure spare parts for the about N27.9 billion radar facility came on the heels of the revelation by the Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, Engr. Farouk Umar, September last year, that the agency lack spare parts to replace the bad ones .
The Director, who spoke at the stakeholders’ interactive forum organised by NAMA added that efforts to source spares from the manufacturer for the replacement of bad ones proved abortive.
Umar had hinted that the situation had been like that since 2014; four years after the project started, adding that the agency had been operating the equipment without spares and that TRACON was equally due for upgrade.
According to the agency, the consignment, which was cleared at the Apapa port in Lagos from Thales Group, in France include MES1 1400A power supply modules, control units and other critical units that would be used by NAMA engineers to effect repairs on any of the nine TRACON installations across the country as may be required to ensure optimal functioning of the system.
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu said, “the relationship between NAMA and the equipment manufacturer, Thales has never been a frosty one as some media reports would have it. In fact it has been very cordial and we are poised to continue to keep it that way. You will recall that we cleared some consignments of spare parts for TRACON last year from the same Thales.”
He disclosed that apart from the spares already received, another consignment of spares has landed at Apapa port and is being presently cleared while other consignments are already being shipped to Nigeria from France according to the shipping schedule sent to the agency by Thales, and that payment has already been made for all consignments ordered for.
The NAMA boss also revealed that as part of efforts to keep pace with global best practices, TRACON would in a few months’ time undergo a total reconditioning process that would ensure that the entire system attains the acceptable reliability level specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He described this process as “a sort of Turn-around-maintenance” which is to be carried out by the equipment manufacturer, Thales Group.
Akinkuotu said the acquisition of spares for TRACON is in line with the agency’s decision to be proactive in maintaining the nation’s radar facility.
According to him, “Availability of spares would ensure that parts of the radar equipment would be readily available whenever and wherever they are needed. There are some that would immediately be used for replacement while others will be kept in the warehouse pending when they will be needed and I can assure you that NAMA engineers have the capacity to undertake the maintenance of this facility as they have always done in the past.”