The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Aviation to investigate non-installation of Instrument Landing System, ILS, and other supporting equipment in airports across the country.
The decision followed a motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by Rep. Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) during plenary presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday.
The ILS works as a signal navigation aid that guides pilots when landing in low visibility.
The agencies to be investigated were the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA.
The motion was tagged “Urgent Need to Complete the Installation and Upgrade of Landing Equipment at the Nation’s Airports to Enhance Safety of our Airspace.
Presenting the motion, Raji said that non-completion of installment of the ILS led to the diversion of several Nigeria-bound flights to neighbouring countries.
“Over the years there has been several clamour from stakeholders in the aviation sector and other well-meaning Nigerians on the need for the Federal Government to adequately equip and upgrade the Nation’s airports.
“With modern landing equipment from the current Category 1 and 2 in use in Nigeria to Category 3 ILS.
“These agitations were predicated upon high number of delayed and canceled flights during the harmattan season and inclement weather conditions which makes landing and takeoff of aircraft very difficult or near impossible.
“On account of poor visibility some foreign airlines are presently diverting their international flights to Accra, Ghana and N’djamena, Chad and some other neighbouring countries with attendant negative consequences,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said that the federal government had made a N7.8 billion budgetary provision for the procurement and installation of modern landing equipment in seven airports in the country.
The airports in phase one of the installation are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Katsina, Maiduguri and Sokoto.
He said that Category 3 ILS, known as Cat 3 ILS, had recently been installed by NAMA at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to enable pilots land in zero visibility.
“Recent reports in the media indicated that the Cat 3 ILS instrument is not functioning at its optimal capacity because of non-availability of other supportive equipment like the runway and approach lights yet to be installed and upgraded by FAAN.
“Lack of cooperation among aviation regulatory agencies on account of petty differences has negatively impacted on the efficient management of our airports,’’ he said.
Rep. Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu) said that relevant stakeholders should be held responsible for “negligence of duty’’.
“The ILS is there and we have been talking about calibration for the last three months. Nobody is doing his job.
“The committee should find those who are responsible, investigate and report back to the house in two weeks,’’ he said.
Rep. Abiodun Faleke (APC-Lagos) also said that passengers should be adequately compensated by the agencies involved.